Where in the World is Miami Wednesday : Pakistani International Student

By Fatimata Ndiaye & Halie Best

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Ash, a senior Accounting and Information Systems & Analytics double major from Pakistan. He chose to come to Miami because of its highly ranked business school, beautiful campus, tight-knit community, and endless extracurricular activities. The combination of these have made it the idyllic American college experience for him.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Arish Surani, I am originally from Karachi, Pakistan. I am a senior here at Miami University. I am an Accounting and Information Systems and Analytics double-major in the Farmer School of Business. A fun fact about me is that I have a twin brother! In my free time, I like to hang out with my friends or play any sport.

How did you get to know about Miami University and what made you choose it?

When I was doing college applications, I applied to several colleges. But Miami had one of the best business schools among them and the campus was absolutely beautiful! It was an easy decision for me because Miami seemed like a fun place to be, and where I would be able to attend one of the best business schools in the country.

What has been your most memorable experience at Miami University?

I have made a lot of memories at Miami so it is hard to pick just one. But, I would definitely say my first semester was my most memorable semester. All the memories that I made getting adjusted to college, making new friends, and having fun with dorm life will really stay with me for a long time.

What has been the biggest difference between your home country and the U.S.?

I would say the biggest difference between my home country and Miami is the college lifestyle. Here at Miami, there is a lot to do outside of class and since Oxford is a smaller town, it has a very close-knit community. Back home, colleges are amazing but they do not offer the same experience as Miami does.

What has been the biggest similarity between your home country and the U.S.?

The people! The people in Pakistan are very friendly and welcoming, and that is also the case here in the US (especially at Miami). When I first came here, I was very nervous about being in a new country and starting college was a bit overwhelming. However, the people I met made me feel very confident about this journey. I truly do feel at home, thanks to the hospitality of everyone around here.

Ash, getting certified to be an SAS predictive modeler in the SAS analytics software.What organizations are you involved with on campus and why?

I was involved in the Miami University Student Government my first two years. I was involved with that organization because I wanted to be in a leadership position here at Miami to help further improve student life here. Student Government gave me a platform where I could make a change to help students make their visions about Miami come true.

What do you like to do for fun?

Like I mentioned before, I really like to hang out with my friends, when I have the time, and maybe watch a movie or spend some time outdoors. I also really like going to the gym at Miami, as the Rec Center is an amazing facility. I really enjoy playing indoor soccer!

What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

My favorite place to eat on campus is Pulley Diner in the Armstrong Student Center. I have been going there a lot since my freshman year, especially during the first two years when I lived on campus. I love everything on the menu, but my favorite would probably be the double cheeseburger. I do not go to Pulley too often now, as I live off campus. Though, occasionally, after a class I will drop by and enjoy a double cheeseburger there.

How has Miami’s focus on a liberal arts-based education helped you?

Miami’s focus on liberal arts-based education has really helped me explore a wide array of subjects and classes that I would not have been able to explore if I had been at a non-liberal arts college. Besides taking classes in my major, I have been able to take a lot of classes that I enjoy and wanted to learn more about. A good example is Kinesiology 171, which is a class about nutrition and exercise that I took because I was interested to learn more about that topic. 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing their education at Miami University?

I would give them two pieces of advice. (1) Get out of your comfort zone and try new things here. Take a new class, go to a new part of campus, try a different dining hall or try a new intramural sport (broomball would be my recommendation). By doing this, you will learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person. (2) Always put academics on top. Miami offers a lot of fun activities to take part in with your friends, which is amazing. But, try to make your grades your first priority. This is because the college curriculum at Miami can be quite difficult and if you are not giving it your full effort, it can become extremely challenging to get a good GPA.

What does Love & Honor mean to you?

Love & Honor means a lot of things to me, but first and foremost, it means respect. Respecting the people around you, respecting the environment, respecting the rules that are in place, and respecting the community that you belong to. For a place that has given me so much, that is the least I could do.

Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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