A Greater Opportunity

By Kara L.
The scarf that reminds Mr. V. of his home country

Subramanian V. described himself as a “mixed up Indian,” and further explained that it really matters in India because of the variety of languages spoken. Mr. V., an Indian Immigrant, grew up in southern India, and currently resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a child, he was constantly moving around the country because his father worked for the government. When asked what his first language was, he said that in the end, it was English. Although he spoke an older Indian language, Tamil, at home when he was very young, and learned Hindi to interact with other kids, his schooling was in English. “Sometimes I joke I learned to think in English,” he added.

We asked Mr. V. to compare his schooling to a school like Durham Academy today. Although he believes the schools here are good, he thinks that the schooling in India was tougher. “When I was in sixth grade, there was a kid who was seven years older than me. He had been flunked seven years.” He even admitted to flunking second grade himself, although this was due to the fact that he had skipped preschool altogether. He described that the schools had different systems, as each student in the class was given a rank, students had to wear uniforms, and students also belonged to a house. He compared it to the schooling in the popular Harry Potter series. “Looking back at it, I had a good time,” he said, referring to these younger years.

Mr. V. chose to leave India for a few reasons. India was not going through a good economic time, and he wasn’t very happy with the jobs that were available. After he finished his undergraduate, he decided to go to the American embassy and apply for papers. “I just took a chance,” he said. He chose the US because he believes that that US is the best place in the world for higher education and opportunity. “The US was somewhere you went if you really wanted to do something.” All these expectations were fulfilled, as Mr. V. explained how if you really try hard and do good work in the US, you can really go places.

View Larger Map