One thing I like about being here is being exposed to the technology and lifestyle of somewhere else. That is not to say that I am partying every night, but it is interesting to see how people here interact with one another and what they do for fun. Bangladesh has made significant strides to become more middle-class and we are making progress every day. But here, in a more advanced country, I have the chance to learn and adapt to the world that I want to see in Bangladesh. I see the things people do and what they buy and I think about how I can apply these things back home. By simply playing around with a friend’s phone or checking out pages on the internet, I am learning the technology and gaining experience just by interacting with it. Through my studies, I will know the best way to handle developing communication infrastructure because I will have models to study and tailor to meet the needs of not just Bangladesh now but the Bangladesh of a future that I can only dream of. I do not have to start from scratch. I will have everything I need for success by the time I leave here.
There is so much to learn here. I remind myself that I come from a country where a recent technological advance was having women travel from village to village with mobiles and a list of phone numbers with valuable information in case people needed to make calls to find something out. This may seem silly to people here, but it was a fantastic way to handle the poverty and isolation that long have been a detriment to progress for my people. Using the knowledge of my country’s limitations and strengths while applying all the information I am learning here, I should be able to find a workable solution to almost any problem that arises.
While I am here, I am also learning the power of networking. My fellow students here come from all over the world. We will all hopefully go on to great jobs at companies both large and small. The people I am in contact with on a daily basis will be valuable resources when I need to reach out for products, advice, donations, or information. I speak to them of my country often, and they tell me about their hopes and dreams also. I am laying the foundation for allies, and also making lifelong (and long distance) friends.
I am so glad that I was chosen for this opportunity. It was not so long ago that a girl such as myself would not have been able to study abroad this way. It was a large source of pride to my parents and my village when I was accepted into this program. One day I will make my whole country proud and reward the faith that they have placed on me.