Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Born and brought up in a rural part of Nepal (one of the poorest countries), pursuing a doctoral degree was something I had never thought about. But, the idea of joining a PhD program emerged during my MA program at a UK university, with the realization that I needed to further develop my knowledge to able to meaningfully contribute to the field of language studies, specifically in the context of Nepal.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
The reason I applied to study at UBC is because of the prestige of the Faculty of Education in producing world-leading research. I have also admired the scholarship of applied sociolinguistics, such as Ryuko Kubota, Patsy Duff, Bonny Norton, and Guofang Li (to name a few), at the Department of Language and Literacy Education.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My program offers a lot to build my community of practice, in addition to allowing me to study under leading researchers of applied sociolinguistics.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was truly surprised by the level of support, both academic and social, UBC provides to its students. And, it's needless to mention how the beauty of UBC campus and entire BC comes as surprise to newcomers.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
I think the biggest challenge for me is to stand out differently among researchers of applied sociolinguistics and to contribute to my own community (Nepal) residing in North America. I strongly believe that all researchers have their social/moral responsibilities to make a direct contribution, at least, to the community in which they were raised.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
The kind of public scholarship my department, especially the scholars of indigenous studies, is doing has a profound influence on me and I would like to become a public scholar. Attending different workshops and talks organized by my department is preparing me to become a public scholar.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
As mentioned earlier, I was born and raised in a rural part of Nepal, where life has never been smooth. Because of which, I have been invariably imbued with different life skills, which I think are helping me a lot in different stages of my PhD program.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
The time is very limited during our graduate studies, but UBC has unlimited offers and it entirely depends on the student how they want to make use of such offers. What I also like to advise is not to compromise your life at present just for your graduate studies--enjoy all moments.