Today is International Students' Day, an opportunity for higher education institutions around the world to recognise and take pride in their international student populations and the positive work they do in their local communities.
To celebrate, we are highlighting the success of 2023 graduate, Hitheesha Cattamanchi as she embarks in her next chapter at the Fresca Group, DGM Growers as the Assistant Growing Manager.
Watch her interview from the Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony held in September.
A Harper Adams graduate has spoken about the immense impact her studies have had on her studies, life, and career after taking the decision to move from India to take up a Postgraduate qualification.
Hitheesha Cattamanchi was among the students from across the globe who graduated with an International Agri-Business and Food Chain Management MSc this autumn.
Originally hailing from India, where she took her Undergraduate degree in Hyderabad, Hitheesha set her heart upon studying at Harper after hearing about the University during her studies. Despite having to wait some time to sort out documentation, she was able to take up her Master’s in 2022.
She explained: “I looked forward to coming to Harper – in fact my journey to Harper was a little long – because I wanted to come here, I am glad that I chose here and didn’t give up. I finished my Bachelor’s back in India in 2021.
“I didn’t choose to move on to another university or someplace else, because, for me, Harper, the first time I learnt about it during my Bachelor’s degree itself, and I had made up my mind that this is where I wanted to be.
“I am glad for the decision I had taken; I am glad for sticking by my choice.”
Like many students who travel to the UK to take up a qualification, Hitheesha admits she had some concerns at first about how she would be welcomed into a new community – but says that the welcome she received at Harper Adams put her mind at rest.
She added: “Usually when someone is coming here as an international student, the thing they look for will be: ‘am I going to fit in, am I going to have a good time, will I be able to get on well with my peers?’
“I can definitely recommend it as something you can stay rest assured about when you are coming to Harper – because the community here is so varied.”
Hitheesha also had a message for fellow students back in India, which she delivered in her mother tongue of Telugu – but which also translates across borders as a reflection on international student experience.
Her message was: “If you have the desire to educate yourself and gain knowledge, you can and should go any distance.
“That's what I believe, and I would advise anyone to consider.
“I understand that leaving a place you call home and moving to a whole new place may be an extremely difficult step.
“However, it is those who choose to face the challenges that life throws at them and keep pushing forward that are shown a great path in life.
“I have personally experienced this, and I believe that anyone who wants to achieve great things in life can do so by taking that one step.
“So, if you want to come here and feel that education and knowledge are the way forward and the goals in life, you can consider Harper as that destination to realise your dreams.
“Higher education is the way forward for anyone who understands the importance of education and gaining knowledge.”