Student Says Campus is Land of Opportunities
Having moved three times during high school, Elnara Eynullayeva ’07 (economics and Japanese language and literature) viewed her collegiate experience as an opportunity to be rooted in one place for at least four years. Ultimately, however, she did choose to do a study abroad program at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. “I was always interested in different languages and cultures,” she says, pointing out the she is originally from Azerbaijan. “I really wanted to get better with my Japanese language skills, and the Ansin Study Abroad Fellowship helped make that possible.”
In the beginning though, Eynullayeva wasn’t sure that she’d made the right decision to go to Japan. It was hard pulling up those UMass Amherst roots. “And besides the many positive experiences that came my way, there were some negative ones as well,” she notes. Looking back though, Eynullayeva is glad she went. “It was a highly educational experience in a diverse environment,” she says. “I learned a lot about the language, the culture and the everyday lives of the Japanese people—and people from all over the world. I interacted with cultural groups I wasn’t familiar with before.”
When asked to comment on her UMass Amherst experience, Eynullayeva is enthusiastic. “I’ve had some amazing professors,” she says. “Not only were they effective in teaching abstract concepts and theory, but they also inspired me to push myself. And I’m not talking only about my major subjects, but other areas as well: psychology, English, astronomy, philosophy, and so on. I was repeatedly fascinated by new knowledge and ideas which made me want to keep learning about them.” Eynullayeva views her time on campus not as a path that will lead her places, but rather as a place full of opportunities in and of themselves, ready to be seized by the takers.
As to the future, Eynullayeva, who plans to go to graduate school in economics, is philosophical. “Dreams?” she questions. “I can’t really associate the word with reality, but then I think of all those people who weren’t afraid to have big dreams and worked hard to make them come true—to make possible things we take for granted. It wasn’t so long ago that in the U.S. women couldn’t vote, and races were divided. Still, I only dream of a peaceful world. I dream of a society in which everyone is equal and has equal opportunities, and I see myself working to achieve at least some of those equalities.”
November 21, 2006