From the hustle and bustle of India to the serene Crookston surrounding, Navjot Singh, University of Minnesota Crookston senior majoring in software engineering, has traveled across the world to find himself. At times, life has creative ways of taking people on certain paths. This was the case for Singh. When he started his bachelor’s degree in India, he did not plan on coming to the United States until he finished and applied to graduate school. Nonetheless, a longtime family friend’s uncle, Ranjit Riar, who also happened to be lecturer at UMN Crookston at the time, encouraged him to come to Crookston. And so, Singh took a chance.

There were several features that ensured Singh that UMN Crookston was the place to be. The university motto “Small Campus. Big Degree” was one of the factors, as well as finding a degree as specific as software engineering on a small campus. With this, Singh took all of the courage he had and transferred to UMN Crookston in January 2017. 

Before coming to Crookston, Singh had never been out of his country, or even his home state. Upon his arrival, the weather hit him, quite literally, like a breath of cold, fresh air. His new home was completely different from what he had known his entire life. 

The beginning of his university experience in the United States was hard, and it took time for Singh to adjust. At first, he kept busy with school work and tried to focus his attention on progressing and going forward. Moreover, he found comfort in the people around him.

“The people here made me feel very welcome and I never felt different,” Singh explains.

Singh not only had the courage to move across the world to embrace a new adventure, but he also grew and continues to grow as a person.

As Singh mentioned, “I am much more involved in on-campus activities here than I ever was back home.” Throughout his years here, Singh has been club president of the Multicultural International Club, a member of the fees team, a presenter at an international dinner, and a cast member in various plays. Among this myriad of activities, he has found certain things he is truly passionate about, such as acting.

“I feel like have developed my personality here,” says Singh while recalling how shy he used to be back in India. Singh feels as though he has come out of his shell. The UMN Crookston has helped him in more ways than one. Here he has been exposed to part-time student work for the first time, team-building skills, leadership skills, working with groups, and has been presented with the opportunity to spread the word about his culture and background.

In the future, Singh hopes to work somewhere where he can manage computer data, or work with databases. He also hopes to attend graduate school sometime in the near future. For now, he is enjoying his last months at UMN Crookston, the place that gave him the audacity and boosts to grow.