For some students graduating from college means gaining a sense of independence while preparing to enter the working world.
For others like UIS student, Rabeena Iqbal, this milestone has a deeper significance.
"I'm graduating in computer science and this is like the one time opportunity which I get".
Rabeena was born and raised near Hyderabad, India. After receiving her bachelor's degree in her bachelor's degree in her home city, she decided it was time to travel abroad and earn her Masters degree in computer science at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Her parents traveled 21 hours to be with her for her big day.
Rabeena is the first in her family to leave her country for higher education in the United States. She's not alone.
UIS Spokesperson Derek Schnapp says the University has become a big draw for international students.
"We have over 800 international students this past academic year which is our record year of international students to be quite honest it's over 15 percent of our enrollment," Schnapp said. He adds it's their computer science and business schools that bring in the most international students because of what the programs offer.
As for Rabeena's future plans: "If there is a good job opportunity I would like to experience it here I could like to gain some more experience in the us before I land up in India".
This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 15, 2015.
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