Adi Mahara, The Quantum Leaper

Adi Mahara

That familiar first-year feeling of homesickness assumes new heights when home is in the Himalayas, a two-day flight from your dorm room.

For Adi Mahara, who left his family halfway around the globe in Nepal, the quantum leap to American college life was eased by keeping a Web diary for the Rollins community. The first month (new foods, wrong-side-of-the-road driving, and Fahrenheit) went surprisingly smoothly.

“Just four weeks on I can already say that my choice to come to Rollins was certainly one of the best I have made in my life so far,” he wrote. “Although I am 8,600 miles away from home, I still feel at home.”

Now in his second year of studies, Mahara has settled into the life of an international Cornell Scholar, joining campus groups like the Model UN, Desi Club (which helped him celebrate all of his favorite Hindu holidays), and the X-Club. He is studying the quarks and quantum equations of physics, with an eye on grad school for electrical engineering.

Though he is enjoying life as an American undergrad (complete with trips to Disney and South Beach), he remains firmly connected to home and wants to share that connection with his fellow Tars.

Having successfully organized a health camp in rural Nepal, which treated more than 700 patients, Mahara plans to take a team of Cornell Scholars with him back to Kathmandu next summer. “Not only would it broaden their horizons about another culture,” he said, “but it would help the people of Nepal at the same time.”

Major: Physics
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Little-known fact: 50 hours (duration of his journey from Nepal)
Listens to: Dave Matthews Band
Favorite literary character: Gandalf
Known for: Uneven smile
Admits to… missing rice as a meal
Favorite toy as a child: Tricycle
You did what? Organized a health camp in rural Nepal
Nickname: Babu
Breakfast: Fruit and bagel
Motto: “Aim for the stars and even if you fall short, you’ll land on the moon.”
Dream job: Player for Liverpool FC [Football Club]
In 10 years: Philanthropic. Old.

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