Two years in Foreign Country

Keshabi Joshi
Posted May 24, 2019 from Nepal

Two years in Foreign Country 

 'Making new friends, learning other points of view, accepting different opinions and values, and seizing every opportunity and ability to achieve true knowledge are the point that attracted me to go abroad.

  From childhood, I have a dream to study in foreign countries but my parents did not allow me to go out of Nepal. After bachelor’s degree, I have permission to go outside for further study. I wanted to visit different countries to learn about their culture and diversity. Basically, I had a plan to visit developing countries but my parents did not agree. Even my elder brother used to say to me “You have poor thinking level and poor vision that’s why you chose developing countries”.  When I decided to come there he has opposed to me because he wants to see me in a developed country. On the other hand, Pakistan is portrayed as a horrific way by the global media, they are anxious about the horrible condition of Pakistan. If there was the news about boom blast in Pakistan I had been flooded with messages and phone calls if I was safe and alive. "We told you not to go," my parents and friends asked me on their regular calls. 

 I was more excited while I get the information about the scholarship program for Punjab University.  I was confused about whether the student who had been going to pass out in the same degree can apply or not. The course is suitable for me or not. Either I am going to waste my two years or make it valuable for me. I got much information from many people. It is said that if you talk with many people on the same topic many views come out. It was the same here. Different people have different views, ideas, and perspectives on Pakistan. Some suggested me not to go there and vice versa. My teachers advised me to grip the opportunity as it was a golden chance for me to study about Muslim culture.  And,  my last purpose of the study was to learn as much as I could about Pakistan and Muslim culture.

   I got many experiences here. Some are good and some are bad. I faced many difficulties there, at first language barrier was most problematic for me. Neither I could speak nor understand Urdu nor can I understand Punjabi.  Even, now I understand Urdu but not clearly. Most of the classes were started in Urdu and I did not understand properly. I understood some words because of the English word. Because of the language, I was not interested and not satisfied with my study. My first semester was over with obstacles and dilemma.  There was flummoxed that I should return to Nepal or stay there.  The first semester was over with obstacles of language. When we are adjusted properly, our leaving time from Pakistan is near and we should return. One of my senior Pabitra Dhakal said that “Don’t worry, this the experience we get in our life, we have learned so many things after coming here.” Yes, exactly, this the experiences that we can apply if we have chance to aboard study.

   The help and cooperation of the teachers and madams are really unforgettable. They encouraged us all the time, they asked about our problems. Even though, we faced many problems. Some problems were created by our self and some by an outsider. One was the scholarship, created great problems. We did not get money in the time which we were told. But our budget was finished. Neither I got the scholarship in time and neither my parents had a way to send money for me. There was not an option to get money. So I knew the value of money and get an experience that what money crisis was. This was also new experiences for me.   I read the biography of so many people, where they explained about money crisis in their student life. I compared their student life with me. It also gave a good lesson.

The dexterity and help of the friends and teachers as well as madams, I found more than expected. Their love and respect are awesome which I never will be forgotten. Our friends made a plan for us to visit different places of Lahore, their plan for entertaining us and their role to reduce our problems are an everlasting memory for me. The advice and encouragement of the teachers and madams are always being in my mind forever.

   Except for the life of department and student, I have other experience about everyday routine life in Lahore. I heard the story about Lahore in my childhood. The word Lahori is using to in Nepal which belongs to Lahore. It is said that before the partition of Pakistan and on the time of British emperor Nepalese people were involved in the British Army. They came to Lahore for Training, they were known as Lahori and they had good respect in society. Even now, Lahori is used for people who are involved in the British army.

 I like the subway road of Lahore and transportation system which is suitable for women. Because most of the buses have separate seats for women and man, either it is college bus or public vehicles. Not only that even entry doors are separate. Like, Nepal here female passengers do not bear the sexual harassment by the male passengers on public vehicles.  It is good but on the other hand it brings the problems for those couples who travel with small children on public vehicles, is hard to handle the children. It is also problematic for aged people to travel without a support person.

One day I was traveling through the LTC (Public) bus, a young man Abdul Hadi was calling his mother loudly then I asked him why he was calling loudly?, he said “I am with mother but he is in women side and she has no idea in which station stepping down from the bus, it is hard to travel with her.”  He added that there is a problem, the male should be sought to a female who belongs to them when their station comes.

Separate door and seats used for women in metro bus Lahore

  I never saw more religious people before coming there. I myself realized the value and importance of religion. My parents became shocked when I went back to Nepal in July when they saw me more conscious of religion.

  Most people are good whom I meet. I like their helping behaves. But there are also bad guys who have a rigid mind. The aim of the university girls has to get married to an educated and rich person. They directly said that they did not want to take double responsibility.  Aamna, hostel friend is doing M.phil in sociology said “I want to take responsibility of family as a housewife after marriage. If I will do a job than it is hard to do for the family. I can’t handle the double duty. Husband is husband in our society he never realizes that we should equally go through.” She also interrupts that generally women are not allowed to work outside for safety and their religion also does not accept it. Women are made for love, affection and warm not for hard physical work.

   Living away from the family and own country is a really interesting and unforgettable experience, at the same time it has very important effects on my life. I have learned the most important things in my life. I miss everything. Missing my family and the attention they all paid to me is a very usual thing to do. The experience I gain how to accept other’s society and culture into my daily life.  It is hard to accept different customs and traditions but it gives an idea about new things. This means making new friends, learning other points of view, accepting different opinions and values, and seizing every opportunity and ability to achieve true knowledge. The most important thing is that my confidence level is developed and I gain ideas on how to clutch the situation. It is really most important learning phase of my life, I learned many things from Pakistan.

This is my experience which I want to share.  

Comments 8

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Jill Langhus
May 24
May 24

Hi Keshabi,

Thanks for sharing your interesting and enlightening experience. I'm glad that you pursued your studies outside of your home country, and it sounds like you are, too. Good for you! So, are you done with your foreign studies and degree now? What are your plans now?!

Hope you're having a great day!

Keshabi Joshi
May 25
May 25

Hello, dear Langhus,
Thanks for reading my experience and your comment. I passed my MA from Pakistan and Nepal too. I have a plan to be a lecturer and social worker. I want to change the traditional thoughts where women are facing challenges as a second citizen but how can I success it, I am thinking about that.

Jill Langhus
May 25
May 25

You're welcome:-) Great! Good job!

I see. Well, let us know how we can help, or if you would like to brainstorm with someone else in the community about it, that has similar interests as you, so that you can form a plan. Keep us posted and good luck, dear!

Lisbeth
May 24
May 24

My dear, you are a woman of courage. Not all people will dare to take your route but you had. Well done!
Its also true that language barrier is the first problem you face when you change countries. Annoying people speaking about you and you do not understand haha.
I relate to your story very much when I moved to Denmark. Thanks for sharing.

Keshabi Joshi
May 25
May 25

Thanks dear,

that, you read my experience and your comments too.

Hello, Keshabi,

You are a risk-taker! You know what they say, “fortune favors the bold”. It’s great that you study in a different country. It broadens your horizons and learn more about new cultures.

Interesting observation on public transport where women and men are separated.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse of Pakistan and Nepal! Please keep wriitng!

Beth Lacey
Jun 07
Jun 07

You are getting such an enriching experience. I am happy for you

Nusrat Ara
Jun 29
Jun 29

It was so refreshing to read about your experience. Keep writing and sharing.