From Mumbai to Mizzou
Story by Josh Murray | Photo by Shane Epping
When Zahra Rasool receives her diploma, she will cap off four years of hard work and determination — and a little anxiety.
Rasool is from Mumbai, India. Her whole family lives in India, so when she announced her plans to go to school in Columbia, Mo., they were uneasy. It wouldn't be her first time away from home. She had traveled to Europe, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Iran as well as throughout her home country. But this was different. The United States was halfway around the world.
“I remember telling my dad that I wanted to come to Missouri to study, and he asked ‘Where is this place?’” Rasool recalls. “He thought I was crazy because I didn’t know anything about America, had no idea about the culture, no idea what I was getting myself into.”
Despite his concerns, Rasool’s father told her if she could find a way to pay for attending MU, he would support her.
“I think he said that because he couldn’t image me arranging for those finances,” Rasool says.
She applied for scholarships and was able to get a financial package to allow her to study at Mizzou.
Rasool had begun her undergraduate career at a university in Mumbai with plans to go abroad for her master’s degree. After one year at the university, she realized she wanted something different and reevaluated her options.
She was interested in journalism, and online searches for journalism schools consistently put MU at the top of the list.