Meena Murugappan

OIGA Meena Flowers HALF


Program of Study: BS in Chemistry: Pre-Pharmacy

Country of Citizenship: India

Country of Residence Prior to USA: Zambia

Date of Graduation: June 2014

Activities: International Student Association, International Student Orientation Leader, Honors and Global Scholars Program, African Youth Council for Higher Education, Fencing Team

Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?

America has a very flexible education style; you can change your major if you need to, or take classes that are not related to your major. Basically, you decide how and what you want to study; maybe even design your own major. It’s a self-driven and an individualistic approach towards education, leaving the final responsibilty with the student.


Why did you choose FDU? 

I liked the diversity on campus. The best part would be location though… (20 mins from NYC, the Hub of the world). Also, we have interesting programs like Global Scholars, Honors, Study Abroad and UN pathways that increase the out-of-class learning experience.

What do you like best about FDU?

I like that it is a private university and therefore relatively small; everyone knows everyone and it’s like a big family. We have small classes and so more individualized attention.

What do you miss most about home?

I miss the African sun, the pleasant weather, my family and mommy-made-food

What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?

Freedom of expression and proximity with professors/ faculty members… Professors are open to criticism/ suggestions from students and the student-professor relationship is not too formal. Back home we would not have been able to call our Dean of Students by her first name and interact with her like a friend!

 How have you handled your finances?

Taken care of by my parents, whom I am very indebted to. I work on campus for my pocket money though.

...Adjusting to a different educational system?

The initial transition stage was difficult; but, after the first semester you get a hang of the system here. You learn to be on top of everything and be more organized.

What are your career goals? 

I hope to be a healthcare professional in a developing country and travel around areas that need Public Health Services. I want to give back to the society that raised me and help the vulnerable in Zambia and India. The US is home to the world’s leading Health Service Organizations that I would like to be involved with.

What are your activities at FDU?

Being active on campus is to your advantage… I’m the secretary of International Students Association, an International Students Orientation Leader, active member of the Honors and Global Scholars Programs, a steering committee member of African Youth Council for Higher Education and on I’m the women’s fencing team. I’ve been to our Wroxton campus for a Winter Session and have been to DC and Boston through the Sands of Time and Global Scholars Programs.

How easy or difficult is making friends?

Making friends is fairly easy if you have an outgoing personality. Most people here are approchable so no worries.


OIGA Meena Dance FULL

What do you do for fun?

I hang out with my friends, go shopping, go to the movies, attend concerts/ shows… There’s always something to do!!!

Do you go into NYC often?  What do you do there?

YES! Shopping! Also, I attend Broadway Shows, do Museum visits, eg. MOMA and the MET, Central Park bike tours, anything touristy to do in NYC (being an international student, the tourist in me never ceases to exist)

What is your favorite spot on campus? 

The swings by the river; has a good view and is the perfect spot for a quiet escape from all the work load…

What has been your favorite class?  

Organic Chemistry: an interesting subject with an even more interesting professor.

What is your advice to other students who are considering FDU?

Learning is not limited to the classroom. Especially being an international student, you need to make the most of your time here… travel while you can and take in as much as you can. Be involved in extra-curricular activities!