Finding the American Dream: Indian brothers study hard, find success at Pierpont

Finding the American Dream: Indian brothers study hard, find success at Pierpont

Finding the American Dream: Indian brothers study hard, find success at Pierpont
 
Despite a language barrier, a heavy work load and a midnight shift at Wal-Mart, brothers Baldev and Karanveer Rathore still managed to make the Pierpont Community & Technical College’s President’s and Dean’s list.
 
The brothers, who emigrated from India in 2015, came to Fairmont to study information technology, which they both major in. They said that their stay in America has been great, with each day bringing new surprises.
 
“It’s been so good,” Karanveer said. “I like it. Altogether, it’s just a cool culture and everything. It’s good.”
 
After their studies, Baldev and Karanveer go home to Morgantown, where they work the third shift at Wal-Mart three nights a week. After a short sleep, they’re ready to do it all again the next day.
 
Upon graduation, the brothers plan to attend West Virginia University to attain a four-year degree. After that, the two hope to stay in the United States, Karanveer looking to have a general information technology job while Baldev hopes to enter the health sector.
 
The brothers said that due to their work and school schedule, they have very little free time, but they do have some hobbies they enjoy.
 
“In summer time, we like to play tennis,” Karanveer said. “I like tennis, but usually, I’m doing my homework and sleep. If we have some time, we spend time at home with our (family).”
 
Baldev said that they have 36 other family members in the country, many of whom live in Minnesota.
 
One of the biggest problems in coming to the United States, the brothers said, was that in India, British English is often taught instead of American English, making it harder to understand American accents and slang.
 
In their two years at Pierpont, Baldev and Karanveer have twice had class with Pierpont information technology instructor Matthew DeMaria, who also spoke about common issues with foreign students and the language barrier.
 
“One of the larger challenges when teaching someone whose first language isn’t English is truly understanding if they understand,” DeMaria said. “A lot of the barriers that those students put up are that they don’t want to be different, so sometimes, they’ll just go along with information with a head nod whether or not they truly understand it. You have to kind of make it a special point to qualify some of your statements and make sure that they are understanding.”
 
On top of that, DeMaria explained that many terms and conversations related to information technology and cyber security are hard for full English speakers to understand, let alone someone who is still learning the language.
 
However, DeMaria said that the Rathore brothers have not had those problems with English and are truly exemplary in class.
 
“With them, I have not seemed to have any problems,” DeMaria said. “In fact, they have been some of or easiest students to catch on to some of the more advanced topics in general. You may have to ask them to repeat a question, but they like to ask and to understand. They’re very typical good students.”
 
DeMaria said that he’s had several conversation with the brothers on certain barriers they may face in the future, primarily attaining a higher level job in the country.
 
“They’re U.S. citizens, but they weren’t born in this country,” DeMaria said. “There’s different levels of clearance, and based on your background, some of those are easier to get than others … The less cookie-cutter American your past is, the more difficult it tends to be to get past some of those hurdles.
 
“I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just try to get students to look at these things and understand it may be more of a challenge, especially when they put in all that time and effort into the school.”
 
Despite the potential challenges, the Rathore brothers aren’t afraid to push forward. They look forward to continuing their studies at Pierpont and their lives in the United States and, when asked, had a key piece of advice for any other foreign student hoping to move to America.
 
“Learn as much as possible,” Karanveer said. “If your problem is English, then go to English class and just work. Talk with people as much as possible, and you’ll learn a lot more.”
 
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