Webster Alumnus Reflects on Global Experience

May. 9, 2017

Webster Alumnus Reflects on Global Experience
Sujan Kayastha and Peter Maher, associate vice president of Int'l Campuses and Initiatives, in Nepal

Sujan Kayastha studied in multiple countries during his time at Webster University, and graduated twice, each time in a different nation.

Traveling the globe for a college degree may sound exotic to many, but at Webster University, it’s not only possible, but it’s encouraged.

“Travelling and studying in different countries is extremely important in this world of global citizenship,” Kayastha said. “Learning about different cultures and studying with people from different people cultures not only broadens our world view but also the helps us understand and appreciate the world better.  Our ability to respect and appreciate different cultures and people will be keys to success, be it at workplace, community or home.”

He began his undergraduate degree in Webster University Thailand in 2002.

“When I first came to Thailand campus, I did not know much about the global nature of Webster University,” he said. “But I met students from around the world, different students in each class and different students in each term coming to Thailand as part of the study abroad program. It was a whole new experience of interacting, living and learning new cultures. I decided to transfer to U.S. campus and take advantage of the Webster global network.”

He transferred to the home campus in St. Louis in 2003 and graduated in 2006 with a BA in International Relations and Management. From there, he began his master’s degree in St. Louis at Webster University, but he paused his education to move to Nepal.

“After a year of work, I decided to go back to school and complete the master’s degree I had started, but in a different country this time,” he said. “I went to the London campus in spring 2008. I graduated from London campus with a master’s in International Non- Governmental Organization.”

Kayastha said that while the academic system, requirements and rigor were similar in all campuses, his experience from campus-to-campus was quite different.

“The Cha-am campus (the location of Webster’s undergraduate campus in Thailand) was a small but extremely diverse community, literally had about 300 students from over 25 countries,” Kayastha said. “Half of the students were there just for a term as part of the Study Abroad Program and new sets of students from around the world would come to class every term. The diversity in perspectives in the classroom was just amazing. The international network of friends that I have today comes from my days at the Thailand campus.”

His experience changed again when he traveled to the United States.

“The St. Louis campus was much bigger and had a wider variety of courses that were offered,” he said. “I was able to experience liberal arts education and indulge in any courses I thought would be fun, useful or challenging. I also had an opportunity live with host families and learn about American culture and values.”

In London, Kayastha said he was able to experience a diverse student body again and experience life in a cosmopolitan European city.

Kayastha currently works as the director of Academic Affairs at Thames International College in Kathmandu, a new partner with which Webster recently reached an MOU for collaboration. He says his global education helps in his current position.

“As a student, I worked for Academic Advising which helped me understand the American university system even better,” he said. “Throughout my education I had the opportunity to understand and experience different education systems and academic culture. I think I constantly use these experiences in decision-making. I am able to bring to my work the best of all these places.”

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