Shimol Mangawa is an international student, a junior at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing and a member of the 2017-2018 SCIE Ambassador cohort.
Shimol said she will always call India home, but over the past three years, Richmond and Manassas have become her home away from home. She says they are significant because they mark the beginning of her “American dream.”
When she was able to transfer schools, Shimol said VCU was at the top of her list. She was drawn to VCU for its diverse student population and reputation as a well-established hospital.
“MCV is forever striving for excellence and achieving greater heights when it comes to providing excellent patient care. The faculty and staff (doctors, nurses, etc.) are so experienced and it’s an honor and privilege to be able to learn from the best,” Shimol said.
One of the best parts of the VCU nursing program is the opportunities it gives students to provide quality patient care before they begin their careers, Shimol said.
If she could change one thing about her experience as a VCU Health Sciences student, she said it would be to further unite the MCV campus and Monroe Park campus for a more cohesive university. She said she thinks bridging the gap between the two campuses would really take the university to the next level.
Shimol would recommend future Health Sciences students get involved. She said she would encourage students who are passionate about diversity to join the SCIE Ambassador program. The SCIE Ambassador program provides the opportunity to meet students from diverse backgrounds, but similar interests. She said the SCIE Ambassador program gives her a sense of belonging.
“I’m here as an international student experiencing a different culture and making friends from different parts of the world. It’s really enriching and exciting to be able to learn so much from friends,” Shimol said.
When she’s not busy with school, Shimol enjoys binge-watching the show Friends. She said if her life had a theme song it would be “I’ll Be There for You.”
If you asked her best friend to describe her, Shimol says she imagines that her friend would tell you she’s kind, protective, fun and a loyal friend. She also says they’d probably tell you she looks pretty good too.