Aliens with Visas

The Internal Journey of Immigrants

Multi media platform about student legal immigrant journey in America. Blogs, interviews, perspectives from students, professionals and lawyers. 

Filtering by Tag: episode 1


In this episode, we examine factors that motivate moving abroad for higher study through a look at Kulanandini Mahanta a.k.a Kula's journey. Hers is one that involved pre medical courses, Computer Information Systems, a Bachelors in Business Administration & an attempt in Marketing along the way to a career in cinematography.

Narrated & Produced by Sandhya Ramachandran
Mixed & Mastered by Navneeth Narasimhan
Music Credits: Flying Pea v.1 by Daddy Scramble, Podington Bear by Bass Rider, Dan Lerch - O Tannenbaum,

STEM is field of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math.
i20 is the document issued by a university that says 'you're in!'
CPT is curricular practical training i.e. authorization for internships/co-op.
OPT is optional practical training i.e. one year authorization for a full time job. STEM students get an extension of 2 years.


  • 02:50 - A peek into Kula's childhood in Guwahati, Assam (North East India) that involved a Sony handycam, comparisons with her sister and the very relatable struggle of Arts vs. Science/Commerce.
  • 06:28 - She coped with her move to Gurgaon (in the Greater Delhi Area) through theater, a passion that was soon eclipsed by US college prep and the student visa process.
  • 14:16 - Eastern Michigan University was a good experience overall and she was back in touch with theater through a college club. 
  • 16:49 - After graduating with a BBA, Kula explored Marketing through internships and then wrote both the GRE & GMAT to pursue it at a Masters level but a drastic turn of events led to Kula moving to Denver.
  • 20:48 - Colorado Film School had its ups and downs. Soon after, she headed to Los Angeles where working on student films at the American Film Institute (AFI) speedily improved her skills.
  • 26:03 - She reflects on her journey so far and her definition of making it.
  • 29:12 - I compare this account to my own experience in film school & the city of Boston.

"I like simplicity, but often complicate sentence structure. I find peace in cooking, music and of course the love of my life - cinematography. I love standing on top of a ladder and fixing lights (I HAVE THE POWER). I am a big foodie. I love Panang curry and Tiramisu. I dislike Math, counting bills, showoffs, talkative (uninformed) pessimists, and people who use excessive logic in almost everything."