Letter to Ms. Palpasa: Do NOT Come to the States

We are mistaken about American fantasy. We simply wish to cross the border. Once you get into America, the trees of dollar are yours, every one imagines the same! If you are coming as undergraduate student you must have higher score in your English test i.e. Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (ILETS). A letter by Krishna Bista

Dear Palpasa,

I was less than happy reading your first email that you are in a grand plan of coming to the United States. Not known what you have dreamed of accomplishing in your fairy land, but it is pretty hard for any new comer not only to adjust new culture but also to continue your study successfully. Also not seen you, but I have a strong guess that you are as charming and beautiful as Palpasa, the protagonist of Narayan Walgle’s novel Palpasa Cafe, or as Radha, the central character of Krishna Dharabashi’s novel Radha, or just nearly as appealing as Mona Lisa. I wish you would be as strong as Lady Jane and Anne Frank, two historical strong women. You are more than these ladies, Palpasa. Just kidding! I know you can be the BEST! My wishes go to you. And let me share my experience of studying in the States.

I am living in Alabama, probably the cheapest state of the United States of America. Unlike in California or New York, a bare room costs you nearly NRs. 18,900 monthly; phone bills NRs. 2,925, utilities NRs. NRs. 1,950, one kilo of cauliflower NRs. 70, a pack of leafy vegetable NRs 1,625, and college fees around NRs. 2, 27,500 per semester. I have not calculated other expenses that a student does normally in home and abroad. Without car, it also makes you feel that you are legless.

We are mistaken about American fantasy. We simply wish to cross the border. Once you get into America, the trees of dollar are yours, every one imagines the same! In deed, we grow initially into wrong dream. The bittersweet is YOU won’t believe if someone shares the real experience. Truly speaking, America makes you weep, cry, toil and churn out the energy from your lazy body, finally teaching you life long lesson of “Respect to Work”.

Do NOT come to America if you do not deserve the position. If you are coming as undergraduate student you must have higher score in your English test i.e. Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (ILETS); also must have strong scores in American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Apply several colleges/universities in advance, at least a year ahead, ask and request scholarship and be the STUDENT for the university. If you are coming for graduate and doctoral studies, again try to have higher score in Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or in Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Don’t try to be Tekendra, my friend who is nurturing his American journey without any preparation. Better not to come without Teaching or Research/Graduate Assistantship. The best position in any university is to deserve any kind of scholarship or assistantship.

Anyway, we are air headed people. I have seen, felt and experienced. It is my experience of teaching TOEFL/IELTS/SAT/ACT/GRE tests classes in three and half dozen institutions in and around Putalisadak, Kathmandu that very few students, perhaps 1%, go through the real plan of abroad studies. The most stupid thing is that we happen to fall in wrong trap of butchering mushrooming educational consultancies and they suck us economically like a leech. Since we do not have a good bank balance we are obliged to see these terrible creatures of consultancies. If you have mind to work rationally and timely, stop going such places no matter you are poor. I believe everyone once is poor like that of Gandhi, Lincoln, or like my Grandpa and who not!

America is slightly somewhat better than Nepal if you are secured and financially strong. But do not grow the dream of earning and studying side by side as an international student. Once you step into America as a college/university student, off campus work is illegal and any time you are the prey of Domestic Homeland Security (DHS) and you have 100% chance to get go back to home! Remember: You are given an American number (mine is 1229226) that will be tracking you each day!

Palpasa, I have been working as a graduate assistant and continuing my studies and will come back to home in June 27 next year, on the very day of 28th birthday as I am dreaming to get nuptial knot tied.

Do not COME to the States if you have really poor plan of abroad study! Home is far better than abroad.

With love


512 ‘A’ Park Street, Troy, AL 36081, United States.
>>Krishna is an Emeritus Lecturer of Tribhuvan University, RRLC and College of Applied Business,Tangal. Currently he is pursuing his Graduate Studies (MS in English), and work as Graduate Assistanship at College of Education,Troy University, USA.


24 responses to “Letter to Ms. Palpasa: Do NOT Come to the States”

  1. ShutUp Avatar

    Honestly, terrible English for a TOEFL instructor/ Lecturer.

    Palpasa, believe in yourself and decide yourself! Things are not like this “doom”-ish as laid out by our Lecturer here!

  2. no_quiero Avatar

    I agree. Without proper research leaving for any country will bring nothing but trouble. I request every student to do research on universities and not to rely on consultancies.

    Secondly, there are better countries than US which have free education as well as they have world class universities. The have a better job prospect too. So one shouln’t be always fooled by American dreams and apply only to US. One should always keep their options open.

  3. Suncity Avatar

    I dont think coming to USA is a bad idea. It is rubbish to convert the price of cauliflower to as 70 rs per kilogram or whatever. No matter how much you eat, u can feed a single person in 150 for a month(nepali style food in home)My experience. you can earn that money in two days working 8 hrs per day. If u have economic hardship , you can go to community college and manage in around 2000 dollars per semester(i.e 4000 in a year). then u can work hard in summer(3 months) at texas, virginia or ocean city. It will be difficult but not unachievable. Of course u cant go to disco or restaurant frequently. After finishing your study( around five years for undergraduate), you can get good job and you will be settled. Dont think it is dark in usa. Good luck

  4. maobadi Avatar

    i really dont understand what the writer wanted when he is sharing his social security number, name and address, good job Mr Troy!!!

  5. Naren Avatar


    I have one question to ask u if u got any suggestions. I got first division marks at college, good GRE Scores (above 1400) and good Toefl Scores (Above 100), however couldn’t manage to get TA/RA. I have been accepted into an university at Texas this fall.

    Now that I am planning to apply for the visa, what do u suggest for me, do I wait till I get TA/RA or simply apply rite now. Heard that we can be offered TA/RA even after we get into the university, what u say about this?

  6. Sammy Bro Avatar
    Sammy Bro


  7. anti virus Avatar
    anti virus

    Krishna’s suggestion is really appriciable. Thank u Krishna jee, for suggestiing the blind insects flying around the fire

  8. Sammy Bro Avatar
    Sammy Bro

    What a poor quality writing, trivial inputs, no logical issues and written just for the sake of writing. I can’t believe he is the lecturer of RR. Or say that is why our education is so terrible!!!!!!!

  9. gyan Avatar

    To Naren

    This ain’t study abroad column try somewhere else

  10. nirjal Avatar

    hello Krishna,

    Thank you very much for providing the inside story of living in the United States for a student from Nepal. From your article i got 2 know Alabama is really a cheap place to live in.

  11. Doug Avatar


    As an American who lived in Nepal for 5 years, I know you have made some good points. Life here in the US as a student can be difficult. And it is expensive. Good test scores and good planning help, but there are always difficulties.

    If life is difficult for a college student such as you, think how difficult is is for the refugees who are leaving the camps in Jhapa and Morang for the USA. Most have no ability to speak or read English. Some, especially the grandparents, are illiterate even in Nepali. They arrive here with no job, no English, and sometimes they are in poor health. They are given food stamps to pay for food and they are given a small amount of cash, enough for 2 months. After that, they must pretty much survive on their own.

    I am a volunteer who is helping one such family, the Acharyas. They were forced out of Bhutan 17 years ago and have lived in one of the refugee camps for 16 years. The two children were both born in the refugee camp. They arrived here in the US about one month ago. I have helped them buy cauli, chamal, dal, and sag. The children (ages 9 and 12) are now in an American school and they are trying hard to learn English.

    But life for them is going to be much more difficult than for a college student who is already quite fluent in English and has thought a lot about his education and his future.

    Sometimes by comparing oneself with someone who is less fortunate and faces more difficult times, it becomes easier to see the bright side of one’s own situation.

    Good luck to you in your studies!

  12. n.koirala Avatar

    Thanks for wiriting an outline of americanized life from a nepali.You know bro,u just penned down the darkest side of the US and gloomy thought to the thousand of naive pupils who want to head to US by any cost.However,how do you and what do you comment to the brighter side of that country,you can’t coz you r there and enjoying well.you gauge only half empty a glass of water but not half glass of water.enjoy

  13. kamal Avatar

    This is such a bairaaagi post.I wonder why they publish these here.Writer is desperately trying to show only one side of the story.Without RA/TA I am planning to go to US in this Fall.And hoping to do well and get some aid after reaching there.But this
    post has slightly dented my feelings.Can any one come up with positive things?

  14. globalvillage Avatar

    Come anywhere with your creditcard say

  15. sunil regmi Avatar
    sunil regmi

    it may be semi true but not whole. US is the land of oppurtunity.garna sakni ley nepal ma pani garcha,nagarni lai koi pani hudaina. GRE garepachi we get 100 percent scholarship,tension nai sakhap. but krishna ji teso vaye tapai afai gayera teha dukha payeko vaye nepal farkera kam gare vaihalcha ni. i earned 25000 per month in kathmandu with teaching the student and making the proposals. if i go to US i could earn more than 3 lacs even i am aundergrad student here at st.xaviers. sapana dekhna saknu parcha.kam bata darauni hoina. challenge lai accept garnu parcha. but he is right that TOEFL nad SAT ma high score chahi garnai parcha.

  16. Vic Avatar

    It’s definitely a good idea to have a gist of what to expect prior to packing your bags for further studies abroad, not just to the US of A but anywhere. It is true, working hours are limited to some 20 hrs p/w in most countries for foreign students, the only way is to risk the legal limits. All do, for obvious reasons….

  17. ripvanwinkle Avatar

    you looser prick,
    just because you could not cut it you advising others not to try. with an attitude like yours you do not deserve anything more. its quite clear that your dreams had been shattered quite bad, but what had you expected that everything will be served to you in a tray. some will truimph and many like you will rot but that does not mean that ppl should stop trying.
    and another thing do they pay you in NRs. there????
    i know its hard to get by working just 20hrs a week but not impossible. many ppl have done it, many are doing it and and many more will do it, you are not the first one so no need to cry foul. if you really are keen on earning more then im sure you can find some work in black. dont tell me its impossible. US has a large no. of illegal immigrants and many nepalese among them how do they survive if there is no work in black.

    but i have a strong doubt that you were very comfortable in nepal living off your fathers money. and now the whole world is crashing down since you actually have to work hard and pay bills.

    get over the cultural shock LOOSER

  18. ripvanwinkle Avatar

    oh ya since you are in the mood of devulging all your informations can you also write your pp no. pls.
    will really appreciate it.

  19. madhav Avatar

    To Kamal

    Me too i’m applying for visa for this fall. Didn’t get TA/RA anything. We might have somethings in common or maybe going to the same university. Please feel free to mail me at madhavregmy@gmail.com

  20. kristo Avatar

    Its of no use at all.. Just goto USEF, Ganeswore or just search in web about application requirements and living conditions in US, that would be far better than this article…Hey Krishna ji, whats the use of all those financial details about the cost of room and cauliflower..do not expect to get hose for 10 or 20Rs..even other asian countries are far more expensive than that.

  21. kick-ya-all Avatar

    Though the Mr. writer hasn’t portrayed a complete picture, he is preety close to reality. Why do you all dum asses want to go to the states when u don’t need to? If it’s for the affluents like my one friend who pays 40000 dollars or year or like me who is on full ride at a top ranked research university, then US becomes a reality. For those who traverse the deliberately nurtured dream land of USA without ever conceding the miserable life of nepalese there, you will see how life will forge in the manner unexpected.

    As per mr. “I could earn Rs. 3 lakhs”, keep dreaming. The income ratio is counted on basis of national average. Even if u earn that sum here, you need to pay taxes and stufs are preetu expensive. Your money will substantially disappear somewhere. In respect to Nepal’s economy, Rs. 25000 for an immature and not fully qualified as you is much more. I wonder why they pay you that much money (though u seem to afflicted by sick attitudes)

    To u all criticizers, keep doin’ that. Mr. writer is givin his opinion and datas to substantiate that he is in US. and, when hell that u can’t understand that how will ever comprehend that tough english requirements here? Can I guess…….oh yeah…….you must be goin’to those 2 days a week colleges with curriculums worse that that of Nepal. (and will be reading harry potter in Bachelor cirriculum)

    Those who respect the existence, freedom and “yeah u can slack in nepal” nature of nepal, keep dreaming but in a realistic way. Doin’ undergard and grad from bad universities here is far worse that completing bachelors in nepal. At least, they don’t know the colleges in nepal.

  22. Nepalifeminist Avatar

    it seems, palpasa is Mr. Bista’s prospective bride. And he wants his bride to nurture his american dream by staying in ‘Nepal’. It is a balant discouragement for women. Why did he need to address this letter to a woman. At the end, its funny the way way he says, I am coming to tie the knot. And probably he will apply for visa to palpasa after marriage and say to palpasa everyday ‘ you came to US because of me’. He does not want Palpasa to try on her own. He is afraid that Palpasa will be tainted by freedom of america and thus no longer will be good nepali keti for him to marry.

    So, in my eyes this is not about education at all………….

  23. Deepak Bista, Australia. Avatar

    Good and certainly very informative article. Without proper planning study abroad can be pretty tough and specially one plans to fund by themselves (work ans study). This is not only in the US but sother countries including Australia. In Australia, one can work anywhere not just in the educational campuses like in the United states. Therefore one is not restricted work only in college/university campuses.

  24. KP Malla Avatar

    Oh! Pretty interesting but the author does not write positive sides.

    In fact it could be initial experience of every one!


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