• MHA Student Named Suffolk Country Ambassador to India


Dr. Kinjal Parikh

Dr. Kinjal Parikh, a native of India, MHA student 2010, and founding member of Suffolk’s International Healthcare Students Group, has been named an Ambassador to India by Suffolk’s International Alumni Association. Its Country Ambassadors Program enlists Suffolk alumni and enrolled students to help recruit and mentor students from other countries.

Ambassadors answer questions and address concerns about studying at Suffolk and life in Boston that prospective students and their families may have. Hearing ambassadors’ personal stories helps prospective students better understand what to expect in their transition to life in the United States.

Kinjal reports that she’s delighted by her appointment and eager to assist. “In spite of all the talk about ‘globalization,’” she notes, “India’s culture remains distinct in many important ways. The better that Indian students are prepared to adapt to life here, the better they’ll be able to fully benefit from all that Suffolk offers.”

Kinjal recalls that, for her, coming to the United States to study “was like starting a whole life all over again.” A particular challenge was communication barriers. “It seemed as if English, which I’d known for 24 years, had become alien. I had to take baby steps comprehending local lingo and body language,” she says. Her point about body language is an astute reminder that nonverbal communication is a language that must also be learned.

To students facing similar challenges, Kinjal offers this advice: “It’s easy to avoid a world that’s foreign to you. Joining professional organizations – including some for people from your native country – can engage you culturally, smooth your transition to a new life, and provide opportunities for networking.” She found these groups valuable:

Informal efforts pay off, too: “Take maximum benefit of all free social and educational events on campus,” Kinjal urges. Her success at Suffolk suggests that her advice is sound.

Suffolk prides itself on being an international university and is committed to helping its international students succeed. Its Center for International Education serves as an information and resource hub that coordinates and facilitates a wide variety of activities and services. Along with serving as an ambassador, Kinjal wants to explore ways of engaging Suffolk’s International Healthcare Students Group with the Center and other parties at Suffolk who serve the international community. She welcomes suggestions and asks that they be sent to her at this email address: kparikh@suffolk.edu.


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Posted September 2009

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