August 17, 2012
Prospective students Cuckoo Gupta and Shashank Sharma stand with Ohio Wesleyan University President Rock Jones (center) in front of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. (Gazette | Gary Budzak)
Two students who live in India recently visited Ohio Wesleyan University as part of a reality television series.
Cuckoo Gupta, an 18-year-old from Bangalore; and Shashank Sharma, a 17-year-old from Bhopal, toured the campus, visited classrooms and met with admission counselors as they were filmed for College Hunt, USA on the international television network Channel V.
A week before attending OWU, Gupta and Sharma visited the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and last week they visited the State University of New York at Geneseo. They will find out whether they are eligible for admission at any of the schools, and then will have to decide which of the three they will attend. The three episodes of College Hunt, USA will air in June, exposing millions of Indian students to the university. There are currently 11 students from India at OWU.
“Ohio Wesleyan seeks to prepare our students for global citizenship and leadership,” said OWU President Rock Jones. “About 10 percent of our students come to Ohio Wesleyan from other countries because of the international scope of our curriculum and the intercontinental feel of our campus.”
Sharma said he liked OWU’s psychology program, the size of the campus and its 1,850-member student body.
“Everybody knows each other,” Sharma said. “People are very warm and welcoming.”
Gupta, who is interested in broadcast journalism and filmmaking, said, “It’s only been three days and I already know half of the people. I’ve never had lunch alone, even when I’m not with a group.”
Both students said their families reluctantly supported their decision to study abroad.
In addition to visiting OWU, the students also took in some of the local sights – attending a lacrosse game, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Perkins Observatory.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” OWU spokesman Cole Hatcher said. “It’s been so exciting to have their crew here and trying to make everything happen.”
The students, who were selected during a national search, said they were getting used to being filmed for television.
“It is tiring,” Sharma said. “You’re shooting from day to night. It’s a very tight schedule. Everybody is working very hard.”
“In the beginning, you get a little nervous,” Gupta said. “But after a while, you get comfortable. You have to imagine the camera as another person. If you keep thinking, the whole country is going to be watching us, you’ll mess up.”