Growing up in middle-class India, Rajika Bhandari has seen generations of her family look westward, where an American education means status and success. But she resists the lure of America because those who left never return-they all become flies trapped in honey in a land of opportunity. As a young woman, however, she finds herself heading to a US university to study, following her heart and a relationship.
When that relationship ends and she fails in her attempt to move back to India as a foreign-educated woman, she returns to the US and finds herself in a job where the personal is political and professional: she is immersed in the lives of international students who come to America from over 200 countries, the universities that attract them, and the tangled web of immigration that a student must navigate.
An unflinching and insightful narrative that explores the global appeal of a Made in America education that is a bridge to America's successful past and to its future, America Calling is both a deeply personal story of Bhandari's search for her place and voice, and an incisive analysis of America's relationship with the rest of the world through the most powerful tool of diplomacy: education. At a time of growing nationalism, a turning inward, and fear of the "other," America Calling is ultimately a call to action to keep America's borders-and minds-open.