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Aryan Shrestha
Aryan Shrestha’s journey to Northern Kentucky University was a bit unconventional. 

Aryan, a first-generation, international student from Kathmandu, Nepal, was set to attend a different university with a full-ride scholarship. Unfortunately, one week before his student visa interview, he received an email with details that his scholarships were rescinded. He was one of more than 50 Nepali students who were affected. 

“I was stranded and had no other university to go to since I had already declined an offer from them, and I could not apply to other universities since it was late into the application process,” he says. 

Rebecca Hansen, associate director of international admissions at NKU, had been working with Nepali students since 2016 and was shocked to hear the news. Upon hearing about the horrible situation, she worked with many leaders on campus and abroad to combine enough awards to help bring one of those students—Aryan—to NKU.

"My parents always wanted me to get a degree, and I am very happy that my parents’ wishes are going to come true."

“After all of this, you would think that Aryan might be bitter. But, in true Aryan fashion, when you ask him about how he found NKU, he talks about it like just some random thing that happened on his journey to finding the right fit school,” Hansen says. “This tells you all you need to know about Aryan—that the worst storms can threaten to break him, but he will somehow find the sunshine through it all and focus on that light to see him through.” 

Once Aryan arrived at NKU, he jumped in with both feet and declared a major in computer science with minors in computer information technology and mathematics. He has hopes of becoming a software engineer or software developer. 

“I have always been passionate about computers and love what I am studying right now,” he says. “The classes are always interesting, and the research that I have participated in so far have been amazing.”

Aryan has been involved in many adventures since the moment he started here, but one of his most memorable experiences was during an internship at The Cincinnati Insurance Companies. 

“Last summer they conducted an event called Code Jam, where people from all over the company can participate,” he says. “People were split into teams and were tasked to create a concept software that the company might have in 2030 in one week. It was a very fun event and a great learning opportunity for me.” 

Aryan, who will soon start his career at Medpace after graduation, looks back on his time at NKU as not just a personal accomplishment but a tribute to his parents.

“My parents always wanted me to get a degree, and I am very happy that my parents’ wishes are going to come true,” he says.