They were immigrant students from Karachi, Pakistan with a full graduate course load, eking out a living by working various jobs on campus. And then a baby girl came along.
When Northeastern offered Zareen Khan a full-ride scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in economics, she accepted it without hesitation. Although she held undergraduate and graduate degrees from universities in Pakistan, the opportunity to attend Northeastern on an F-2 dependent visa while her husband pursued his own studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was a no-brainer. But the arrival of a newborn baby meant the already cash-strapped couple had to get creative.
Khan asked a friend who was studying for her medical school exams if she’d watch her daughter while she attended classes or worked as a receptionist.
“When I’d come home, the only way I could pay her was through cooking,” says Khan. “So I would cook food for myself and give half of it to her as payment to watch my daughter. [Money] was so tight.”