Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—The communications program at Eastern New Mexico University is not only drawing students from around the state and country, but from around the world.
While ENMU has attracted several graduate students from India into its chemistry and biology programs, it's the communications program that has attracted one graduate student, Anamika Ghosh.
Anamika is from Kolkota, also known as Calcutta, which is the largest metropolis in India with a population of 14 million people. Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and was capital of British India.
Whenlooking for a United States college to attend, Anamika said sheconsidered two factors, the quality of the program and the size of thetown. "It was my first time coming to this country as an adult, so Igave importance to courses offered in a Communications program. I alsodid not want to live in a very big city," Anamika explained. ENMUproved to be the ideal school so she enrolled in the graduate programin August and is now about to complete her first academic year at ENMU.
Prior to coming to ENMU, Anamika had only visited the United States one time, as a three-year-old, when she went with her family to the East Coast.
Anamika, earned a master's degree in film studies from Jadavpur University, an institution that is considered "the center of excellence in mobile computing and communications" by India's University Grants Commission. She earned her bachelor's degree from Calcutta University in advertising and sales promotion and sales management.
Although Anamika's mother tongue is Bengali, the national language of Bangladesh, she has also been learning English since she was a young child, as well as Hindi, the national language of India.
Anamika is an only child but, in spite of this, she said that her parents, who own a printing press which does pre- and post-press, supported her decision to come to school in the United States.
"This will help me get a good job in India," Anamika said. "Now India is growing a lot, opening up its economy, and allowing more foreign companies into the country."
Anamikasaid she plans to return to India after completing her education.However, she may extend her stay here to pursue a Ph.D. "I feel at homehere at ENMU. It is very friendly," Anamika said. "On my first dayhere, I met a girl named Michelle who really helped me a lot and showedme around the campus. At first, I used to get very scared about myclasses and would go to Dr. Roehl. She really helped me," Anamika said.
Besides a big difference in cultures, Anamika said another distinction between the countries is in technological advances. "In India, we hardly get an opportunity to get a hold of things, like certain books and the Internet.
Access is easier here. There is a better system of information compared to my country." She also said the schools here are more advanced. "In India, the area of communications is very new and few schools offer programs in communications."
It's mom's home cooking that Anamika misses most about India. "In my country we eat a lot of spicy food, but we use different spices and herbs. In my state, we eat a lot of rice, lentil and fresh fish. You can hardly find any
fresh fish around here." Anamika lives with three other students from India and they take turns cooking their favorite Indian dishes. She said they go to Lubbock or Albuquerque to stock up on spices and herbs from India.
"The culture here is all so alien to me. We have something like MTV and HBO, but it is all so different from my culture." However, Anamika pointed out that one of her favorite singers was inspired by Western classical music.
When she's not busy studying, Anamika and her friends enjoy watching movies from India that they purchase online. "We belong to a membership club that has music and movies from India."
"Even the birds here are different from those in my country," Anamika pointed out. She also noted differences in dress. "I wear trousers here, but am more comfortable wearing outfits, dresses from my country."
Anamika said a positive side to culture in the United States is the emphasis on the individual. "Everyone has individuality. In my country, we are a close-knit family and my decisions are not just my decisions. They include
elders like my uncles and aunts. We don't give that much importance to individualism."
Anamika can be seen walking all over campus and the community. She does not have a car here but said she likes it that way. "If you don't walk through the streets of a place, then you won't get close to that place; you won't
get close to the spirit of it."