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I always had a fascination of studying abroad and Apeejay helped me fulfil it: Yukti Kandwal



Yukti Kandwal

Young achiever Yukti Kandwal, who is studying for her Bachelors in Economics and International Relations at the DePauw University in United States, shared her story about living independently to chase her dreams after growing up in a joint family. She also talked about the admissions process and gave valuable tips to aspirants of global universities. Read on.

Tell us something about yourself?

I am a 19-year-old ambitious girl. We live in a joint family in Noida. My father is a businessman and mother is a CA working in the government sector. I take time opening up to people and some of them may perceive me as an introvert. When I want something I stay really focused and give my 100% to that.  
My interests are wide-ranging and eclectic. I love playing badminton and volleyball. Usually I play badminton with my family. I love listening to music. For leisure, I love to do canvas painting or oil painting.

From where have you done your schooling?

I have been in Apeejay School, Noida since my kindergarten. I completed school in 2020. Since I have been there for 14 years, I have developed a special bond with the teachers. I made all my friends in the school. The teachers are very supportive. After my Class X, they helped me choose Humanities. Whenever I had a query, they were available and very welcoming. One thing that I really miss about school are my friends and teachers.  

Which university are you studying in?

I am pursuing my Bachelors in Economics and International Relations from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, US. In 2020, DePauw was ranked 46th among liberal arts colleges in the United States by US News & World Report.

Why did you choose DePauw University?

It is a liberal arts college. DePauw’s liberal arts education gives students a chance to gain general knowledge outside their direct area of study by taking classes outside their degrees and engaging in Winter Term classes and trips. Here I have freedom to study every course in the first two years and then do my majors in the last two years. Also, it’s a private university which offers a 9:1 ratio of students and teachers. Apart from getting personalised attention from the teachers, we are undergoing offline classes even during the pandemic. Online classes don’t really suit me. I need attention, so I chose this university and I am getting the benefits of studying here.

What are your future plans?
I have not really decided about my career, but I want to do my higher studies in the US itself. Because of the cultural differences, I find the US to be fascinating. It’s been 4-5 months now and I really love to be there.

How do you manage alone in the US?
My parents were there with me for one month, it really helped. After that for the first few days, I felt very low. I had to stay in my room all day due to Covid. Also I was not used to the food I was getting there, obviously because of the Indian taste buds. I even lost a lot of weight. But eventually I adapted to the change. My parents remained supportive throughout and my father told me that I have to be independent.

Why did you opt for an international university?

I have always had a fascination with studying abroad since Grade 10. Also, good options to study liberal arts in India are limited.

How tough was it to zero in on a global university and get admission?
It took a lot of time to decide which university I should go to. I started the entire process from the beginning of my class 12. The counsellors from Hayden and Reynott at Apeejaya School, helped me enormously. The counsellors were with me for about 6-7 months and they also helped me prepare for my TOEFL study. They were in touch with me and my father throughout.  They even helped me in writing the essay and sending out the application.

Can you elaborate more about the selection of the university?

The counsellors told me about DePauw University. They told me that I should look for this university as my first preference. This university is a liberal arts college. When I studied about this university, I realised it suits me perfectly. With counsellors and teachers by my side, I chose this university at a very early stage. I also applied for an early decision via mail in September 2019. It increased my chances and in December 2019, before my boards I got the acceptance from the university. I also got a scholarship based on my TOEFL Score (100) and predicted score (my professors gave me 90%, however I got 94%). So, I didn’t apply anywhere else.

How excited were you when you got the call/email from the university?

It was night time in December 2019 when I got the approval from the university. I remember I was sleeping at that time and my parents came to wake me up. It is the best thing I haven woken up to.

How did Apeejay help you in the process?

Apeejay must get full credit here. They provided me with counsellors, and the teachers were supportive. They gave me recommendation letters on time and helped me do all the formalities

Please share one big life lesson from the time that you spent in school at Apeejay?

I learnt some of the leadership qualities. I have been a class monitor as well. Also, I learnt the importance of values from the school.

Tips to take admissions in a global university

1.       Make an early decision to go to a global university.

2.       Get a counsellor for yourself.

3.       Study the university well.

4.       Apply for an early decision. It will increase your chances.

5.       Stay positive and always have a plan B ready.

“If you have teachers by your side, they will always help you choose the right path. Be it selection of a stream or university, their experience will guide you.”

Yukti Kandwal

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]