Achieving world-class education in a world-renowned university is every scholar's dream but is often marred by the cost of living and exorbitant tuition fees.
At times, these dreams get dashed at the selection level of some top-notch universities as students are not passed-out from renowned institutions.
An Indian student, however, has not only defied the norms but has gone on to receive offers to intern with more than 10 universities, which several scholars yearn to go to but seldom get a chance.
Delhi-based Abhishek Agrahari, an engineering student, is on cloud nine after internship offers came his way from the UK's University of Oxford and the USA's Pennsylva State University and the University of Illinois, among others.
"It feels great that I have received offers from so many renowned universities. The hard work has finally paid off," Agrahari told .
He previously worked with some stellar institutes like Defence Research and Development Orgsation (DRDO) on gas turbine engine and IIT Bombay on fluid-structure interaction, and IIT Kanpur on fluid dynamics and has offers from the institute's centres in Kharagpur, Indore and Madras.
For Agrahari, the love for research stems from the fact that he does not believe in following the mainstream and the constant urge of exploring something new every day.
"Research has attracted me from the very beginning as I do not like following what has been done in the mainstream. I constantly wanted to explore something new. I like to research into subjects like fluids, the black hole," the 20-year-old added.
Brighter the sunshine, darker the shadow. There are questions from detractors about him opting for foreign universities over the Indian institutes. Agrahari feels that after working with premier orgsations like DRDO and IIT, it's time for some international exposure.
"The foreign universities are slightly advanced in terms of infrastructure, quality of research as compared to what we are performing. Plus, you also get a great deal of international exposure as well," he said.
But this success didn't come to him easily. He had to face his share of challenges during his graduation days and later as he was a "non-IIT" college and said that whatever student comes from IIT "would be the superior ones" -- a perception that he believes exists.
"They (the universities) blindly believe in the IIT students rather than giving students who studied from private universities a chance. The entire process was very difficult for me," he said, adding that convincing the interviewers was not a cakewalk.
Agrahari said that he has to study from other sources for his research as the topics that he is focussing on are not taught at the bachelor's level and they are mostly researched during the post-doctoral or PhD level.
One would term it as extremely fascinating as he idolises British business magnate Richard Branson and holocaust victim, Anne Frank, as these are two completely unrelated to his field. "His books, the thought process is something I really appreciate -- he is a multi-talented personality. I take so much inspiration from such personalities as they are the jack and the master of all trades," he said.
When asked about what university he would choose to pursue his internship in, he replied that he would be doing so at the University of Oxford in January next year. "Most likely, I will be setting out for oxford in January coming year 2021. There's a lot of paperwork to be done to facilitate the visa and departure. However, I am also in talking terms with two or three other institutes in USA," he added.
While entering the gates of Harvard, Oxford and Yale to go to class might seem far-fetched, but the key to the dream lies in one's sincerity, hard work and honesty with the goal is worked upon, said the 20-year-old. "I always believed that if they (IITans) could get there, why can't I?" he concluded.
( With inputs from ANI )
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