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Profile: Ria Deshpande ’16 of India


Ria Deshpande ’16 came to Smith from Pune, India.

Ria Deshpande ’16, a prospective biology and computer science double major, always wanted to come to the United States to study. Ria is a first generation college student; before arriving at Smith, she knew she wanted to come to a small liberal arts college, preferably in a warm region. Still Smith caught her attention!

Originally from Pune, India, Ria notices a lot of differences between home and Smith. The way her peers interact with each other and remain so engrossed on what they are doing, whether a sport, schoolwork, or a hobby, she finds very intriguing.

Upon arrival at Smith, Ria “absolutely fell in love with the campus.” Northampton reminded her of a place “out of a storybook.” The sense of community Ria feels while at Smith from her house community and the Smith community at large has been integral to her college experience. She mentions how she “loves how we all live in houses instead of dorms and interact on a daily basis with people from all walks of life, of all different years, and doing all kinds of new interesting things.”

In terms of her classes, Ria finds it extremely empowering to be surrounded by smart, ambitious young women, and she especially enjoys the freedom to express her opinions no matter the thought. Her favorite class thus far has been a creative nonfiction writing course about sports. She attributes her success in writing to this class because of being able to write about something she loves. When asked how Smith can better assist international students, Ria commented that organizing more events where international students can meet American students would be very helpful; overall, she feels Smith makes a great effort to acclimate international students to life at Smith.

As the secretary of the International Students’ Organization and HCA for Morrow House, Ria continues to enjoy being at Smith. She plans to go to graduate school after Smith and hopes to earn a PhD in computational genomics.

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