Freshman adjusting to life in the U.S.

Feb 12, 2003

He comes to Kettering from India, choosing the University from halfway around the world because of its opportunities in professional co-op.

He comes to Kettering from India, choosing the University from halfway around the world because of its opportunities in professional co-op.

Abhishek Banerjee is not disappointed. Only a freshman, he has landed a co-op job at the world headquarters of Delphi Delco Electronics in Kokomo, Ind. Because he is an international student, he will complete the required three academic terms before starting his co-op job in July.

"My first trip to the United States was to Flint, Mich," he said. "We traveled more than six hours from Qatar to London, England, and another nine London to Detroit. My parents stayed with me for a week and then they went home. It was sad, but every hour got better. Now I feel at home here."

Banerjee, 18, who likes to be called Abhi, was born in India and moved to Doha, Qatar, when he was nine years old. Qatar is a small country on the Arab Peninsula that is adorned by the world's major supply of natural gas. Qatar is surrounded on three sides by the Persian Gulf, and near Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A B-Section student, he is majoring in Electrical Engineering and is fascinated by electronics technology. He is active in Kettering's International Club and is part of Kettering's award-winning Residence Hall Administration (RHA), representing his unit and serving on the social and recreation committee. He is also active with the University's Indian Student Association.

He has come to the attention of Kettering faculty as a freshman with his excellence in academics. In Qatar, he also came to the attention of the faculty when he was named head boy (top student leader) of the Ideal Indian School. He topped all Gulf schools in the first international power test competition, conducted by the Middle East's first and largest schooling portal, Schooling Middle East.

Banerjee beat out 2,500 outstanding students in the Gulf countries to win honors in physics, chemistry and mathematics. In early 2002, he represented Qatar as a Global Scholar at the 2002 Global Young Leaders Conference. And by graduation, had earned a 3.9 (out of 4.0) in all science subjects, won Best Boy-Science Stream and Best Service awards, and Kalachandran (Champion in Activities) at the Youth Festival.

Among his science projects in high school, he worked with a team to develop a lighting system for wheel chairs, enabling users to control external illumination.

"Kettering is working out really well for me. I find everyone here is very helpful. I didn't know anyone in Michigan before I arrived. I do have a few classmates in North America, so that helps when I'm feeling lonely," he added.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533
pmroczek@kettering.edu