For Ruixian "Rachel" Wang, leaving her home country of Hefei, Anhui China to study abroad in the United States was both a challenging and rewarding experience.
The Business Administration major first learned about the College of Saint Elizabeth in 2006 while studying English in Beijing.
Dr. Jesse Yu, CSE chairperson of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems, spoke to her class about the College and the opportunities it offered to international students.
For Wang, attending a small, private college interested her. "I like getting to know people," she admits. "The idea of being able to ask questions of your professors really appealed to me. Most of my classes in high school consisted of nearly 70 students, so the relationship between teacher and student was rare."
Lying between the Yangtze River and Huaihe River, Hefei is the capital city of Anhui Province and is ranked as one of the 50 strongest cities in China with a total population of 5.01 million. Close to the coastal area, Hefei plays an important part in connecting the eastern and western areas of China while also linking the north and the south. It is considered to be the central tourist city of the whole province.
While all international students experience some form of culture shock in their first year abroad, Wang was quick to assimilate herself within her new surroundings.
During her three years at CSE, Wang has been involved in a multitude of campus activities. She has been active in the College's swim team, Honors and Leaderships Programs, Students Take Action Committee, and International and Multicultural Affairs club; has formerly served as vice president and secretary of the Business Club; is a community assistant in O'Connor Hall; and has worked on-campus as a student lab aide for Academic Computing, and as a receptionist and tutor for both statistics and mathematics in Mahoney Library.
With more than five percent of the student body coming from abroad, Wang considers herself to be a thread interwoven into the vibrant fabric of cultural diversity that makes up the College community.
"You really get a chance to see the rich diversity of this campus," she said. "We have students who come from all over the world: Asia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, even China," she smiles. "They are always willing to share their culture with other people."
With more than 3,000 colleges and universities to choose from within the United States, Wang recommends that international students think about things like location, degree programs, cost of living and size before determining which school to attend.