Written By Ashley Neyra
The American dream was one that has crossed the minds of several people. Which for the next generation is the opportunity for the best education in the world.
For Arian Rodriguez, that was his motivation to make the journey to the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started attending the University of Lima in Peru, studying to become an industrial engineer. After 2 ½ years Covid hit, causing his academic career to come to a pause. After seeing that the situation wasn’t improving, he decided to use his visa and go to the United States to seek a better opportunity. He thought about how an American degree would be more valuable internationally, than his Peruvian degree. That became the goal for him, to obtain his American degree
Although his parents were unaware of his intention at first because he knew the decision would be hard for his parents. 19-year-old Arian came to live with his grandmother who had been living in the United States for some time. After his grandmother and he convinced his parents he stayed in the United States.
The first year he spent endless hours working saving up to start his studies at Montgomery College. Working as many hours and saving every penny he could, he finally was able to enroll at Montgomery College. In 2022 he enrolled in classes. Arian took 14 classes while working 20 – 30 hours a week to be able to fund his studies himself. Even though he had taken 87 credits in Peru, only 24 had transferred to the United States.
“I showed myself I could do a lot.” – Rodriguez
His first year at MC was unfamiliar as he had to adjust. Not only to his studies and work but to American culture. One of the immediate differences was his working endless hours while being a student. In Peru being a student was seen as a full-time job, while in America most are expected to work. As he spent more time in the United States, the sounds of the busy streets and the people chattering outside of his window became noises he missed from Peru as he found the United States quiet. The lack of socializing seemed to make even his social life quiet too. In his first year he would go from class directly to work; leaving him no time to build any social life, which he missed.
“The opportunities in the states have been unlimited” – Rodriguez
Arian’s hard work has paid off at Montgomery College. But his journey is not over, he continues to work hard as he plans to get his bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato, through the Iron Range Engineering Program.