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Alumni blog: Ishwar Kohale’s first year at MIT

18 June 2013

Ishwar came to Pestalozzi from India in 2010, graduating in 2012. He is now studying Biological Engineering at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Here, he shares his freshman year experiences.

Ishwar Kohale, Pestalozzi AlumnisI didn’t even realise how fast my freshman year was going until it was over. I have been enjoying MIT so far, and I am really excited about the coming years. I am planning to major in Biological Engineering, and I took a class to explore the potential applications of this comparatively new discipline. In terms of academics, my freshman year was very productive. I took programming, microeconomics and other general institute requirement classes.

Beside academics, I tried to get involved in International Development (ID). I lived in ID House (iHouse) last year which is a living-learning community at MIT, focused on doing community development projects in different parts of the world. I took a seminar in ID and attended guest lectures to explore different fields of ID. I worked on a cookstove education project with one of my friends in iHouse and a middle school teacher. Though I was not able to contribute much to the project, I learned the process of planning and doing the projects. I hope to do such projects in my village in India in the coming years, and live with the Pestalozzi’s principles of Head, Hearts and Hands.

I am currently doing research in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) over the summer. My research is focused on developing neurotransmitter specific contrast agents for MRI based on biological molecules using protein bioengineering methods. In addition to the general use of MRI in medical diagnostics, the research will help to visualize the internal body organs in greater detail, especially for studying neural systems in vivo. I am really enjoying my research work because I get to apply my knowledge in practice.

I do remember, when I was doing the IB in the UK, I used to get excited about PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction to amplify DNA), gel electrophoresis and other complicated bio-chem terms. Now, I do those experiments and see the results for real! I feel so lucky that I get to work with Professors and PhD students in my freshman year; one of the best opportunities MIT provides to the students.

It's wonderful to see Ishwar fulfilling his potential, thanks to the scholarship and support he received from Pestalozzi. If you'd like to be part of a journey like Ishwar's, there are plenty of ways to support Pestalozzi students.