Anika wears a bright yellow hijab and black face mask in front of a glowing red display of The Bidesh Talks Logo.
Launching My Startup Dreams as an International Student

Settling into my new home at the University of Redlands as an international student from Bangladesh, I noticed the struggles faced by students in my home country who yearned to study abroad like myself. The lack of accessible information and financial barriers were casting shadows on their dreams––I knew I had to do something. 

The seed was planted. I envisioned a digital platform that would empower aspiring students with comprehensive information about study abroad opportunities. I called it The Bidesh Talks,” with “Bidesh” meaning “abroad” in my native language. 

The journey to launch The Bidesh Talks was not easy, especially since I did all the work in my Bangladesh village upon returning from the U.S. Frequent power outages were continuous disruptions, and unreliable internet connections left me frustrated. But I refused to let these obstacles deter me; instead, they fueled my determination to create something that could change lives. 

The Bidesh Talks is now a beacon of hope, inspiring and empowering students to fearlessly pursue their study abroad dreams.

With an unwavering commitment, my co-founder and I began, reaching out to universities, scholarship programs, and fellow international students who had succeeded in securing free study-abroad opportunities. I spent sleepless nights compiling information, refining the website, and connecting with like-minded individuals who believed in my mission. 

Finally, the day arrived. It was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking as I pressed the “launch” button to The Bidesh Talks. Would anyone notice? To my delight, the response was overwhelming. Students from all corners of Bangladesh (more than 20,000 views) poured in, seeking guidance, hope, and support to study abroad. The community of dreamers and achievers grew, and The Bidesh Talks evolved into a supportive space where students could connect, share their experiences, and encourage each other to succeed. 

As the platform gains momentum, so does my resolve to address the very challenges that had once hindered my own progress in seeking an education in the U.S.  

The Bidesh Talks is now a beacon of hope, inspiring and empowering students to fearlessly pursue their study abroad dreams. It taught me that entrepreneurship is not just about profit margins and market share; it is about identifying a need, finding a solution, and uplifting others in the process. 

To the dreamers reading this, I encourage you to take a leap of faith; Embrace your passions, face your challenges head-on, and know the journey may be tough, but the rewards are immeasurable. Your dreams are worth pursuing, and the world needs your unique vision. 

The Bidesh Talks may have started as a small dream, but it has grown into a movement that shows what is possible when we come together to empower and uplift each other. Let your passion be your driving force, and with dedication and perseverance, you too can create something that leaves a lasting impact on the world. 

So, to all aspiring entrepreneurs out there, “You can do it!” The world needs your ideas, your solutions, and your unwavering spirit. Launch your business, pursue your dream, and let your journey inspire and encourage others to do the same. Together, we will create a world where dreams know no boundaries, and every dreamer becomes an unstoppable force of change. 

About the Author | Anika Tabassum is an international student from Bangladesh studying Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of Redlands. She is the co-founder and instructor of The Bidesh Talks

By Anika Tabassum
Anika Tabassum