Doctorate and Master programs attract prospective students from all over the world: China, India, Turkey, Canada, South Korea, etc. In my entering electrical engineering cohort, I was the only Peruvian and Latin American. In my first year, I felt tiny compared to my peers who came from renowned universities and very competitive college degrees – that was my perception.
A few years before I started my Ph. D., a fellow from Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI) started his Ph. D. at Harvard University. “How did you get admitted to Harvard from Peru?” another Harvard graduate student asked this UNI fellow. Even now, I cannot understand what this other student’s opinion of Peru was. The story remained in my mind, feeding the “maybe they are right.” Feeding the perception.
Now, I am writing with confidence that Peruvian students are astounding as the top students from all over the world. I broke free from my initial perception.