“I Wanted to Pursue My Dreams Here”

International Students Discover Opportunities at Illinois Tech



By Olivia Dimmer, David Ettinger

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I Wanted to Pursue My Dreams Here


Isma Mehraj (Civil Engineering Graduate Student): Coming to the U.S. was my dream as it gave me hope and courage that a girl from very small area in India and a very conservative family can come and break the glass ceiling. 

Di Xiao (Food Safety and Technology Ph.D. Candidate): The reason I choose Illinois Tech is because we have unique opportunities. We have the cooperation between the industry, the government, and the university. As the students, we get all the opportunities to work with the best scientists. 

Muhammad Hamza Khan (Computer Engineering 4th Year): For me, change is fun and exciting and thrilling, so this was almost like a leap of faith or just more to actually go beyond my own parameters and explore the world. 

Mehraj: The campus is a very welcoming to all students. We have a lot of student organizations. In that way I mixed with a lot of people from a different community. 

Xiao: I get really good access with all the faculty. They’re really helpful, and we have really nice advisers there. They always are there if you ask questions about your study plan or you get a little bit confused with your career, they’re always there.

Khan: I feel like Chicago itself is a very vibrant, colorful society, so I just felt like I’m another color added to it. 

Mehraj: Every time I go to downtown it amazes me. There’s so many people, there’s so many multi cuisines. It’s like a full package.

Xiao: And then we get easy access to Chinatown, where my culture is, and then it just doesn’t feel like I’m away from home that far but it gives a mixture, or a little taste of the United States. 

Khan: Since Illinois Tech provides so much financial assistance to students who come all the way across the world, I didn’t feel the burden of that. 

Mehraj: I wanted to pursue my dreams here, and indeed I did it. 

Xiao: As long as you start making friends, talking to people, get all of the access to what the amazing city of Chicago is offering or Illinois Tech is offering, you will easily overcome all of the obstacles and graduate and find a job here, or if you want to find a job anywhere in the world. I think our program gives you the ability, to prepare you to be ready.