I did my Undergraduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan. After graduation I worked in the Education sector in Pakistan and coordinated a survey on education called Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2011). Before getting interested in Area studies, I had no idea about the University of Washington and the South Asia Center. Like many other people, I thought that there was only Washington in the US. However, I researched my options for South Asia Studies and found the Faculty at UW matched my research interests. I wanted to concentrate on contemporary issues in South Asia and UW South Asia Center has excellent resources for my field of research. Looking back, I feel UW is an excellent choice not only in terms of studies but also because Seattle is a very livable and diverse city.
The biggest surprise for me was of course the fact that there was another Washington in the US. Secondly, I was astonished that Football was called Soccer and American Football had little to do with Foot. Third was of course the rain. One of my friends gave me a raincoat as a parting gift, saying that I would one day thank him for it. However, I have to my surprise adapted well to the weather in Seattle. I have traveled through large parts of the US, and whenever I come back I feel happy. In simple words, I am most surprised by the fact that Seattle has so quickly become home.