Mahindra is born in Suriname and now lives in Brussels, Belgium.
In December 2013, when she finished her bachelor study in Sociology at the Anton de Kom university of Suriname, she was asked if she wanted to apply for a scholarship, the Caribu scholarship. It seemed interesting and she started the selection procedure. In the first half of 2014 she heard that she was selected. She didn’t know anyone in Belgium, and worst of all it seems like she had never heard of Belgium before. All of this was exciting, she felt she received the chance to grow. The University in Brussels gave her a contact person and made sure that everything was taken care of.
She arrived in Belgium safely and started her “journey”, a master study in Sociology, which was planned for 10 months, but which she finished in 26 long and challenging ones. Yes, it was a very challenging and exhausted journey, but it ended well. She now got her master degree in Sociology and is motivated to share her knowledge and keep on learning.
During the 10 months scholarship, her contact person at the International Relations of the University tried to answer all her questions. She had sessions together with other international students, she could discuss the challenges she was facing and tried to find answer for them together. This help was useful, but not enough to pass in 10 months, she lost a lot of precious time and energy.
After 10 months, the scholarship ended, which meant that the monthly financial support ended, while her study was not finished yet. They decided to help her two more months financially, but after that she would have to try to find her way through. After 12, 14, 16 months she was still busy. Which means that she had to find a way through each obstacle herself. She had to look for a job, and that is not the easiest task to complete in a city where you don’t speak “one of their most important” languages, where you get confronted with discrimination and racism and you don’t have your family to lean on. The last seems to be the worst, She had sleepless nights or cried herself to sleep. It was not easy but after 26 months, she achieved the goal she came for.
In this whole process, She missed a person to count on, who would be able to understand her, who has been through the same and could help her to overcome it all. She made a lot of mistakes she didn’t have to make if she had the right coach and tutor.
She had challenges on different areas; her study, finding and keeping a job, paying bills, having a REAL shoulder to lean on without consequences and coping with personal and emotional issues. If you want to find out more about her coping this issues, you can read it in her blog, category 'my bridges'.
Emotionally, it was super hard for her. She didn’t have anyone who could understand what she was going through, sometimes it felt like she was living in “hell on earth”. She got through it by reading and praying a lot. Talking with psychologist and coaches helped her to find her inner strength. She became a stronger version of herself by experiencing, reading, praying, but also taking coaching sessions and classes.
She would not like someone else going through all of this, and even if they do, she would like them to have someone who can help them through. She wants to offer support to international students who are facing difficulties in finishing their study. She does this in different ways, by reading suggestions, offering a social map (a guidance that shows you where you can be in which cases), coaching and tutoring sessions, gathering of students facing the same issues so they can learn from each other, providing workshops, trips, relaxing sessions etc. She wants to try everything within her reach, knowledge and power to support you in getting there.
Do you have difficulties in which study to choose, where and how to get a job, how to overcome social and emotional challenges and so on? Then Mahindra is willing to talk to you about it. She won’t offer you the solution(s), but she will help you to find it/them.
"You can cross this bridge, you can achieve your goals, you can be the person you are dreaming of. Come on, let’s cross this bridge together." ~ Mahindra