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Pretty as a picture with brains to match

- Steel city girl wins full scholarship to Europe for postgraduation in tourism management

She’s quite a looker and her CV packs a formidable punch, including a full scholarship to studies in Europe.

But tell Suchi Smriti Mahto (25) that she’s the archetypal beauty with brains, and the Jamshedpur girl breaks into a refreshing bout of girl-next-door giggles.

Suchi, an alumnus of Sacred Heart Convent School, won the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for postgraduation starting in August, from when she will study tourism management in Europe.

“According to the scholarship programme funded by European Commission, I can study in different universities each semester, with the last one according to my choice. They are universities of southern Denmark, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Girona in Catalonia, Spain and finally, the one that I will choose, most probably somewhere in China,” she said.

The prospect of globetrotting excites her for after her plus two, she sat for Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), scored 2,100 and won 45,000 USD to graduate in international politics and economy in Colorado College, Colorado Springs, between 2007 and 2011, and then worked in the Maldives and Kenya.

On winning the Erasmus Mundus programme, worth 48,000 EUR, she said she was happy to choose tourism.

“I always wanted to do my post-graduation abroad but at the same time I wanted to help my country through education. That’s why I chose tourism. It’s a neglected field in India and especially in Jharkhand. Despite its undoubted potential, tourism is not considered seriously here and I want to do something to change this perception,” Suchi said.

She added: “When you see the beautiful, green and rugged landscapes of Jharkhand as well as the indigenous people and their vibrant customs and traditions, you feel how badly the tourism sector is lagging behind in the state and how the government can do so much more for it.”

After her graduation, Suchi worked in the Maldives and Kenya and came back to her parents in Cable Town, Jamshedpur.

“I wanted to prepare for my next big step from home,” said the Cable Town girl.

“I am privileged to get an opportunity to study abroad during graduation and post-graduation. My classes start in August. I hope I will be able to help my country grow with the education I have,” said the daughter of Vidya Bhushan Mahto, retired Incab Industries chief medical officer and a practising doctor, and Graduate School College for Women’s former head of the music department Binapani Mahto.

Have you ever applied for a foreign scholarship? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com