Since 2006, more and more international students have come to Campbellsville University and started successful lives.
According to statistics from the Center for International Education (CIE), a total of 304 international students attended Campbellsville University in 2012 from more than 40 countries. The most highly represented countries being Brazil, China, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea and Venezuela.
Many students from all over the world come to live and study harmoniously with each other at CU, and each person brings his or her differences from the culture of their country.
This is a good chance for international students to share their home c
ulture to CU students and the local community.
Huanhuan Deng, a Chinese student who is studying Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TEOSL) and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) at Campbellsville University, recalled her life over the past two years.
“It has been full of fun and challenges; happiness and tears. But CU broadens my horizons in the real world,” Deng said.
Now that the U.S. culture is a part of her, she is ready to expand beyond the borders of her self-created experience. Her latest idea: to teach for an extended period in the United States.
“I would like to have the opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture, focus more on international language education and work closely with youth," she said.
Studying abroad let her learn about American cultures, make new friends and improve tangible career benefits.
“You can develop real competitive advantages over other students who never venture abroad to study,” Deng said.
International students can make a difference in everyday lives.
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad, besides learning a foreign language and being educated, is making friends abroad and improving yourself.
“I meet my boyfriend in CU last year. He is from Brazil. We learn a lot from each other, even we are from different country. So I really enjoy this relationship,” said Aya Owade, a sophomore studying psychology from Japan.
Challenges always come along with starting at a new school, moving to a new town, meeting people and speaking a new language. Add to that a new country and new customs and even the most extroverted of them would be shy.
“I was an international student before. So I understand the distress of international students,” said Elaine Tan, international activities assistant.
Tan has three main tips for all international students.
First, open your mind and break out of your comfort zone.
“Most students make friends with those from their home country. This is because they feel more comfortable around each other,” Tan said. “Get to know more American students.
“Don’t just limit yourself to fellow Americans. You have an exciting opportunity to meet native citizens of a country who have diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
“Second, students should be more active. Campbellsville University offers various social activities for students, so there are countless opportunities to make friends. The CIE also has a lot of planned trips for international students during different breaks in every semester.
“Activities can include sporting events, clubs and volunteer organizations. You should find out what is happening on campus and join any activities that are of interest to you. You can also go to nearby cities and see the hot spots that other students visit,” Tan said.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
“Just speak out what you want to say. If you need help, you need to ask. There are a lot of people who would love to help you,” Tan said.
As the associate director of international education, Dennis Paiva encourages all international students to integrate into the school and local community.
“I am glad for each of our international students that are here at Campbellsville University, and I thank God for directing each student to our campus and having us cross paths in my life,” Paiva said.
“It is so nice to learn about different cultures and hear things from different perspectives. Because of that, I encourage our students to become involved and participate in campus life and the community, so they may enlighten others about their culture and perspectives.”
Wed, October 10, 2012
by Vicky Wei