#INTOMUviews: Jagan Pagala


Jared Casto

Jagan Pagala

Jagan Pagala is an Indian Marshall University INTO student who has lived in America for nine months.

Pagala is currently studying Computer Science and is enjoying the more hands on approach the major offers in America.

His favorite experience so far has been the independence that America offers in contrast to India.

In his free time, Pagala enjoys playing volleyball and participating in other intramural sports. After graduating, he plans to gain further practical knowledge in his major and possibly pursue a Ph.D in his home country.

Q: What do you think the biggest difference between America and India is?

A: The education over here is a lot different than in [India]. In our country, it’s more of a theory kind of thing whereas in the states it’s more practical learning. (…) Computer science in India is a good thing, but having good qualifications like practical experience in the United States can give me good opportunities back in my country.

Q: How and why did you choose to come to Marshall?

A: I chose the eastern side of the United States. (…) I felt like this would be a good [school] to go to. The computer science [major] is newly established, but the professor told me about Computer Science and I was given admission to information systems.

Later on, I knew the benefits of computer science, but the first reason was less number of Indians, which is why I chose Marshall University.

At all the others universities in all the other states, there are more Indians, whereas at Marshall there are very few. I wanted to learn the culture of the U.S. If I’m with the people of India, I would not know the culture of America. (…) It would be the same Indian culture that was in India.

I thought it would be interesting if I could learn some foreign culture and diversity and that would be easier with less number of Indians.

Q: What are your plans after you graduate?

A: Right now, do a job and have a good experience, and practical knowledge in the subject and field. After that, go back to India and do a Ph.D or something like that.

Having practical knowledge and then getting back to the Ph.D I think works sometimes.

I think that having a good experience of working practically on the product or something and then getting back to the Ph.D will help me.

Q: How do you keep in touch with your family?

A: Right now, international calling. We have some international calling apps and Skype. Frequently, I’ll call them and they’ll call me.

Q: What do you think your favorite experience in America has been so far?

A: So far it’s been the freedom up here, which you will not get in India.

There are a lot of restrictions over there and there’s a little bit more freedom over here and we can be independent. (…)

In India, it’s a different culture. Here I have to wake up every morning, make my own breakfast, make my own lunch, dinner, support myself, earn some money.

This is a new experience for me. It’s a big difference. In India some things are different like always depending on parent’s income. Here it’s like ‘I need to earn something. I need to do it myself.’

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: Vinay and I play volleyball along with the Indian team. We play intramural sports. I play basketball and even cricket.

Jared Casto can be contacted at [email protected]