Let the journey BEGIN !!!!

Photo : Selva

How much ever cliched it might sound, its true that every end is a beginning to another journey. And for me tomorrow marks one such important moment as I fly to Pittsburgh. This journey also marks the beginning of the new phase of my life as a MBA student. Away from my home and my people, this phase is going to be challenging in all ways.

In next 2 years, I hope to learn a great deal of things - personal & professional, meet a lot of new people, make some lasting bonds and be a better me :-)

This will be my last post from India. Next update from the other part of the world :) 
Wish me luck !! Let the Journey BEGIN!!!!

Getting to know Pittsburgh - My next home..

Photo Courtesy : Louis

Just 7 days left for me to leave back everything I knew all my life and move on to a terra incognito. Come July 21st, I will be in the city of Pittsburgh. The more I think about this move the more excited and nervous I am. All my life I have been in India and blessed to have been lived the cities like Belur, Mysore, Bangalore and more which offered me ideal living conditions and I just love all of them. 

Pittsburgh, my home for next 2 years, is something I am getting to know from past few months. I believe every city has its own character and each city offers a unique experience to people. From whatever I have learned about this city till now, one thing is clear. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city with rich historical and cultural background. No longer the dirty steel town of old, Pittsburgh is now a true renaissance city and I am really excited about my move to this city. 

Few fun facts about Pittsburgh that I found out from scouting the web.
  • Pittsburgh is within 500 miles of more than half the U.S. population, and the city is less than 90 minutes flying time from 20 states and Canada. 
  • The Smiley :-) was the first Internet emoticon, created by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman in the city of Pittsburgh
  • The first theater in the world devoted to the exhibition of motion pictures was the "Nickelodeon," opened by Harry Davis on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh is a city that bleeds black and gold, the colors of our three professional sports teams. But much as Pittsburghers love the Pengins (2009 Stanley Cup Champs!) and Pirates, the Steelers -- proud winners of six Super Bowls -- are more akin to a religion here. 
  • Pittsburgh has more bridges than just about any city in the world, including Venice, Italy, and more steps than Cincinnati and San Francisco combined! Three rivers and hundreds of hills will do that to a place. Most downtown bridges are painted a distinctive golden yellow (the official city colors are black and gold).
And now a bit about 2 most notable locals of Pittsburgh who are also behind the legendary Carnegie Mellon University that am going to attend from this fall. Its a interesting coincidence that these 2 share their first names :-)

Andrew Carnegie

Born in Scotland, Andrew Carnegie started building his fortune as a bobbin boy in a cotton mill in Allegheny, PA, for $1.20/week. He eventually became the "Steel King of America," the richest man in the world and a generous philanthropist.

Andrew Mellon

An American financier, industrialist, and statesman born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andrew William Mellon was influential in the beginnings of many companies, founded the town of Donora, PA, and was actively engaged in many philanthropies, including the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. 

That's it for now. But do join me as I keep my first step in this city and explore all that it has to offer to me :)  I will share all that I learn and experience in this city for next 2 years on this blog. 

Pittsburgh here I come !!!!

Got my International Driving Permit (IDP)

Being an international student means we have to take care of many additional things than domestic students worry about. If you plan to drive a vehicle/car while being in US, its a good idea to get your IDP (International driving permit).International students may drive in foreign countries with an International Driving License, which has the maximum validity of one year. Note that they are required to get their license from the country they're staying within one year period.

Documents needed to obtain International Driving Permit in India

 Following documents are to be produced at the time of applying for an International Driving Permit
  • Valid driving license with atleast one year more of validity.
  • Valid passport
  • Valid Visa
  • Required Fees (INR 500 as of 07-July-2010)
  • Three passport size photographs.
  • Copy of air ticket 
  • RS 1000 worth of NSC taken in the name of applicant
  • Medical certificate
  • Duly filled IDP application form (available in RTO premises)
For me the whole process took just two days and it was pleasantly smooth and hassle free. I am really happy the ways things work at RTOs without any kind of bribes these days. 

So if you are planning to drive while being in US (or any other country), do get your IDP.