Student Alaisha Fernando wants to find her community

August 25, 2022

This Q&A is part of a series of new student profiles for our 2022 back-to-school coverage. Have someone you think we should write about? Contact

What year are you, and where are you from?

I’m a first-year student. I’m Sri Lankan, but I’ve lived my whole life in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates.

What do you plan on studying, and why did you decide to attend UC Berkeley?

I’m majoring in political economy. I chose Berkeley because of its really strong data science program. I’ve never done anything in the computing field other than use Google and YouTube, and I feel like Berkeley is a great place to introduce myself to technology and data science for careers in the future.

What has it been like for you so far, coming from Dubai to Berkeley?

It has been a bit of a culture shock. Dubai is quite safe and small, and Berkeley is a big community. It has only been a few days, so I’m still trying to find my small community within this huge community. But everyone has been very welcoming and nice.

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