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Student Profile: Utsab Khadka ’06

For Utsab Khadka, Hope provided an opportunity to fulfill his high school desire to study abroad.

“America is a good place because I know English and because many American colleges offer scholarships to international students,” he says. He was attracted to Hope in particular by the college’s strong physics program.

“I was already interested in physics back then,” he says, “from some books I read outside of classes. I thought through physics I would learn more about the universe and life.”

Khadka is majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics, and is aiming toward graduate study in particle physics. Portions of his semesters and his summers are dedicated to conducting collaborative research with Hope faculty and other students. He has participated in several different experiments conducted by the campus’s nuclear physics research group, including using the college’s new Pelletron particle accelerator, installed in the summer of 2004.

“This group offers so many opportunities -- all the places we go and the hands-on experiences we have,” he says. “We also travel to some labs, like Notre Dame University or Michigan State, to use the different accelerators.”

He thinks that his transition into Hope and a new country went pretty smoothly. “People in the international office were really warm,” he says. “It was like home. People in the Phelps Scholars Program and in Scott Hall were really welcoming.”

Now, Khadka is involved with a variety of activities, both on-campus and in the larger Holland community. One of his most unique experiences has been serving on the Board of Directors for the Holland community’s Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony, a group he connected with through a class.

“We have monthly meetings and monthly activities, like lectures or seminars. We invite guest speakers and a couple of times a year we have a community potluck. We’re involved in cultural and ethnic issues around the area,” he says.

Through the group, he also met the owner of a local coffeehouse where he began to perform music, playing the guitar.

“I used to play there Friday nights on an almost regular basis. I also play at some events like Images,” he adds, referring to the yearly performance presented by the international students and celebrating cultural diversity.

In his activities both on and off campus, Khadka has enjoyed the variety of his experiences abroad.

“I just enjoy meeting people,” he says.

This profile was written by Melissa Sexton, a 2005 Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2005-06 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.