Shahjahan S. Burki
Home city and country
Beaconhouse School System
Major and minor(s) at Wheaton
Economics and International Relations
Year of Wheaton graduation
Activities at Wheaton
Asian-American Coalition, Middle East Awareness, Intramural Soccer
Looking at liberal arts colleges that were welcoming to International students and offered financial aid, I found Wheaton. The scholarship and financial aid, location and personalized acceptance letter were the key characteristics that led me to choose Wheaton.
Adjusting to Wheaton
Initially, I had many anxieties about making friends, expressing my views openly and coping without having other Pakistani at Wheaton. However, by the end of the orientation I had made incredible friends from all over the world and had had the most profound, insightful and open discussions about politics, religions and social issues. Now on weekends my friends and I go to either Boston or Providence to watch a movie, eat lunch and explore the cities. When we return there is always something going on at the campus: Balfour dances, musical performances, etc. The faculty, staff, my advisor, and above all my friends made the adjustment to a new college, in a new country, a breeze.
Having spent a year in a Pakistani university before coming to Wheaton, I found a big difference between the attitude of the professors and the student-professor interaction in Pakistan and at Wheaton. Wheaton professors are approachable and I find it refreshing to see students talk to their professors in the Balfour café or during office hours about diverse topics ranging from academics, sports, politics and even personal issues. Professor LeBlanc was my advisor and taught my First Year Seminar (FYS) class, Story Telling Through Computer Animation. His teaching methods and assignments, like making animated advertisements, writing papers, giving presentations, as well as creating our very own comic book, gave me confidence and prepared me for academic life at Wheaton.
I have never doubted my decision to attend Wheaton, not only because of the wonderful faculty, staff and the students, but also because of my personal growth. At first, I was a shy, reserved freshman not ready to take initiative, however in the past two years I have gained confidence—partly because of my friends, the faculty and the overall Wheaton experience. I’ve co-founded a non-profit organization in Pakistan as well as in the U.S., participated in MUNs and the Harvard University Project for Asian & International Relations, initiated a number of projects relating to the education crisis in Pakistan and even started a business venture. I doubt this would have been possible without Wheaton.
Wheaton will provide you with the confidence, self-belief and support that you need to pursue your dreams.