Oswego is a long way from home for Priya Ravindran ’09. She grew up near Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, and left home after 17 years to earn two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and global and international studies at Oswego, picking up a minor in French along the way.
After earning a master’s at Fordham University in political science, Ravindran returned to India
to work as a research and documentation officer and program manager with Children’s Future India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of underprivileged children.
1) How you learned about Oswego:
I hadn’t heard of Oswego until I was at a college fair in India and an Oswego representative, Ryan Lemon ’00, was present.
2) From Bombay to Oswego:
Ryan was so friendly and welcoming; plus, Oswego offered me free room and board and a merit scholarship, so that was a huge factor, too. When I first came to Oswego, I wanted to become a news reporter. My mom coaxed me into taking a more “academic” major.
3) Your best travel tip:
I have so many! It really helps if you do your research about a culture first. Having a meal with a family is a great way of experiencing a new culture, but just having a coffee or tea in a cafe outside is a good way of relaxing and sinking into a culture.
4) How Oswego is different from home:
The cold! And coming from a city of 5 million, I was initially taken aback at the small size of the city.
5) Why Children’s Future India:
In India, I saw poverty firsthand. It wasn’t until my politics and international studies class at Oswego that I became passionate about working with an NGO. I chose Children’s Future India because I wanted to play a little part in an organization that works to better these children’s lives.
6) What’s next:
In a couple months I’m moving to Ukraine, and I hope to continue working for a similar organization there.
7) Why pick up the French minor:
I was exempt from the foreign language requirement since my first language is not English. I had done two years of French in India, but took French 101 on my adviser’s insistence. My professor Allen Stagl was amazing and so animated while teaching, he made me fall in love with the language.
8) How many languages do you speak:
My mother tongue, Tamil, as well as English, French and Hindi fluently. I’m currently learning Russian because it’s one of the official languages of the United Nations. I plan to learn Ukrainian as well.
9) Down the road:
Some day I would like to get into the United Nations and possibly move back to New York.
10) What is special about Oswego:
It’s such a close-knit community. The opportunities I had at Oswego, meeting people from all over the world, having the best teachers, working at the front desk at Hart Hall, reporting for WTOP, and volunteering for various community service projects, changed me as a person.
—Tyler Edic ’13