Photo: Brian Mackey

Vellachi came here to study from Bangalore in southern India. “My options were the UK and US. I chose here because culturally there’s more exposure to television and movies from the US in India. She’s a graduate student at RISD, studying textiles.

“I’m not sure if I’ll stay afterwards. I’m happy that I got this education. Textiles is a really important export economy in India, and it’s a lot more hands on. I’m happy for what I’ve learnt here, but that’s where the playing field is, I can go back and put what I’ve learned to use.”

She works in a studio downtown, and is often “up all night working, right up to the time of a presentation. It’s fun to be able to dip in and out of the culture that’s here. When you need a break and to see other people, you can get that here. I like walking around and peering into all the stores.”

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