In a light vinyl jacket, Adi slides awkwardly on the ice in front of his Bishkek dormitory. It’s the first time he’s ever seen snow: “It’s like God’s grace falling down.”
The 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous province, arrived in Kyrgyzstan this fall to start work on a five-year medical degree at the International University of Kyrgyzstan (MUK). At home, medical school became a distant dream after he did poorly on entrance exams. But his parents’ demands were not open to dispute: “Since I was a child, I heard I would become a doctor. My father is a doctor. I will be a doctor.”
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David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.