Isha Paudel (the Girl from Nepal) was a Rotary Youth exchange student in our District during the 2019-20 school year.  She was “discovered” as a 14 year old by a group of 6250 Rotarians who visited Nepal as part of a Rotary Friendship Exchange in 2016.  She currently attends UW-Platteville and this is her most recent update to the District 6250 Rotarians who help sponsor her education. Keep reading for a letter from Isha.

My dear sponsors,

Things have been different since the last time I wrote to you guys; I have moved into my apartment with my boyfriend Scott and our dog Jase. Over the summer I worked for Women in STEM Program on campus, it wasn’t great pay, but the experience was nice. I also worked on a Research Project where I was working on training AI to detect lameness on cows early on. Towards the end of the summer, I officially changed my major, now I am double majoring in Math with focus area in Applied Math and Data Science with emphasis in Statistics and a minor in Computer Science. I took 16 credits, my classes were Data visualization and Analysis, Introductory astronomy lab, Intro To Astronomy; Stars and Galaxies, Statistical Methods with Applications, International Relations and Object Oriented Programming. I loved my professors especially my programming class professor- I wasn’t great at programming and I had a very bad time with my pre-req class for this programming class. Even the professor at first thought I would fail the class, but I was able to pass the class with an A- and I really enjoyed the class.

During the semester I worked for the Women in STEM program and for the Math Department as a Math tutor. I tried my best to handle all my living and food expenses with what I earned during the summer and during the semester. It was hard to manage the expenses with low paying on campus job, but I tried my best. I had to ask my parents for some help to pay off the money I owed Scott. Fortunately, I have accepted an Engineering Co-op with Trane Technologies for upcoming spring semester which will be part time during the semester and if I do good it will be extended for the summer of 2023 as full time. I will be working virtually and in person once in a while for spring and in person from La Crosse for summer. I hope to be able to handle my living and food expenses and not having to owe Scott money with whatever I will earn during the semester.

I was also involved on campus with various clubs; I am the president of AI club and vice-president of International Club. It is fun to meet with all the International Students from around the world. I have been doing my best to help the new International Students as they are going through the same thing I went through.

During the semester I had some issues with my health, but I was able to navigate through that with the help of dean of students, student health services and other support system on campus. If it weren’t for their help, I wouldn’t be able to earn a GPA which will get me in deans list for this semester.

Living off campus has its own perks and disadvantages. It’s nice that I get to call my apartment home and come home to Scott and Jase. I can cook my own food if I miss home cooked food. But our apartment is very small as we weren’t sure what could we afford. I am really looking forward to next year as we are getting a house with Scott’s friends and it’s even closer to university than our current apartment. You are always more than welcome to visit us anytime.

For winter break, Scott, and I both travelled to Nepal, so I am writing this letter from Nepal. Travelling to Nepal was quite an adventure as our flight got cancelled our bags didn’t arrive for quite a bit of time. I had to spend my 21st birthday in an airport getting sad and mad that our flight to Korea got cancelled and I couldn’t go home on time. But, even with all the sadness of our flight getting cancelled, we managed to make something good out of it: we got to spend two days in South Korea as we both had gotten Korean visa. Instead of staying in the US and waiting for a day where there will be flight from US to Korea and then Korea to Nepal, we were able to spend a day in Seoul. We were supposed to land in Nepal on Dec 26 but we landed on Dec 28 without our luggage.

This is Scott’s first trip out of the US, so it has been nice to see him experience all the new things. I was able to celebrate my 21st birthday together with my brother on Dec 30th. Our birthdays are 5 days apart, it was nice to celebrate my birthday after so long with my family. Attached is a picture of my family (dad, mom and Abhi-my younger brother) and Scott. Let me know if you ever plan on visiting Nepal, my family will be happy to host you.

For the upcoming spring semester, I plan to take 15-17 credits, as some of the classes I am still waiting for the seats to open I am not sure about my schedule yet. I plan to take Linear Algebra, Discrete Math, Data Science-1, Statistics-3230 (Experimental design and analysis), either some history class or a programming class, and possibly a speech class. Like I said earlier I hope to be able to handle my expenses from the co-op with Trane, I will be taking break from my on-campus jobs for this semester.

My parents won’t be able to help me more for this year as they paid for my plane ticket as well. I am looking forward to gaining some real-world experience and skill from my co-op with Trane.

I am excited for the upcoming semester as I have got new classes and new job to look forward to. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me.

Isha Paudel

For more details or information contact PDG Edwin Bos at