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International Students and Culture Changes.

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

Hi, I'm Anwesha (she/her) and I am this week's Grad Chat guest! I will be taking over the PhD Balance Instagram account tomorrow!

I grew up in a small city in the north-eastern part of India. I have lived in southern and western parts of India before moving to Knoxville for my PhD. Even though I lived away from family for several years before moving to the US, moving halfway across the world, is a completely different challenge. At present, I am a fifth-year PhD candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville at the Department of biochemistry. I work on translation regulation in eukaryotes.

I have a long story of a plethora of circumstances that I had to fight through my PhD journey thus far. It centres around the elephant in the world, mental health. Mental health is a prejudiced topic everywhere. My exposure to mental health crises and support skipped two and a half decades of my life. I was diagnosed with severe ADHD of the inattentive type, major depression, and anxiety disorder two years ago. I was lucky to have friends who were aware of mental health struggles and could direct me towards the help and assistance I needed. After being diagnosed, my whole life seemed valid. All the struggles that I battled through until then, HAD a Name!! There was nothing wrong with me!

All the struggles that I battled through until then, HAD a Name!! There was nothing wrong with me.

Having experienced that, I decided to actively advocate for mental health awareness for everyone around me. One of my major goals is to change the existing mental health stigma in academia and help build a platform equipped with resources to deal with mental health challenges. I joined the PhD balance team recently, still navigating my ways around to be helpful in the best way possible.

During the takeover on Friday and Grad chat on Saturday, I will talk about “International student and Culture” and my experience of being an International PhD student while dealing with significant personal loss and navigating through mental health challenges.


Anwesha (@AnweshaDG) will join Susanna Harris and Fay Lin on Saturday's (08/22) Grad Chat to talk about international students and culture changes.

Grad Chat is live-streamed on YouTube Saturday's at 3 pm EDT/12 pm PST/8 pm BST!

You can also now listen to all our Grad Chat episodes as a podcast, which is hosted on Anchor FM and available on all major streaming services!


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