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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Exchange student from India thriving in Saratoga community

Junior Soumya Nimmu remembers trying to navigate through the crowded the streets of Bangalore, India, with her friends at 4 a.m., setting off firecrackers and streamers. It was a dark night in Bangalore, but the city of 4.3 million people was lit with oil lamps hanging from houses for Diwali, the festival of lights.

“In India, Diwali is as big as Christmas in America, and we spend several days having fun and bursting firecrackers with our friends. It’s amazing,” Nimmu said.

Born in Mountain View, Nimmu moved to India when she was 8 as a result of her dad’s job transfer.

While in India, Nimmu moved around frequently and attended three different international schools. The schools had grades from preschool to 12th grade, with about 90 students per grade.

Though Nimmu spent much of her elementary and middle school education learning the Indian curriculum, she doesn’t see huge differences between the systems.

“[The Indian curriculum] was pretty difficult because I had to learn Indian history,” Nimmu said. “Every year in math, we [learn] every topic such as trigonometry, algebra and geometry. The levels get harder and more detailed each year.”

Nimmu was also an active member in her school community. She started a women's empowerment project at school to decrease the rate of school dropouts among women in rural India.   In addition, Nimmu was a dedicated member of  Model United Nations (MUN) and her school’s leadership class.

Immediately upon her arrival in Saratoga this summer, Nimmu sought opportunities to continue her passions in her new community. After approaching assistant principal Kerry Mohnike, Nimmu was recommended to join the school’s Leadership class as an outreach commissioner.

With senior Puja Maheshwari, she is now planning a joint dessert social that mixes special education students in the school’s Community Based Instruction program and the Leadership class. In conjunction with the rest of the outreach commissioners, Nimmu is also working on projects such as Speak Up for Change week in January.

Though her move here has been a sudden change in Nimmu’s high school career, she has been integrating herself into the Saratoga community and looks forward to the rest of the year, especially her involvement in leadership activities.

Nimmu said that in India, there was also student leadership in schools except the positions were called “Head Boy and Head Girl.”

“It’s always been a dream for me to be Head Girl, but now that I am here, I hope I can become part of ASB,” Nimmu said. “Though starting over and jumping into high school was kind of sudden, I have been able to fit in easily since everyone here is so welcoming.”

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