Celebrating NY6 International Students-March 31, 2022

As we celebrate our 2nd annual NY6 International Students Day, we are featuring a few of our graduating international students from member campuses. We asked each student to share a highlight of their time on campus as well as some advice for incoming international students.

Yiyan (Janney) Zhao ’22, a double major in international relations and economics at Colgate University shared that a highlight of her time at Colgate has been the help and support she has received from her faculty and classmates taking a challenging course. “This is the essence of Colgate. People make themselves really available to support and nurture me, and I was able to find a close group of friends and surround myself with a great support system that has helped me to grow professionally and personally,” said Zhao. Her advice to incoming students is: 1) Go to office hours, and after you have asked the professors your “homework” questions, have a conversation with them, take an interest in their research, 2) Visit career services, it’s never too early. They help to arrange for job shadows, suggest possible internship opportunities, and help you navigate the Colgate alumni network, and 3) Reach out to alums in your field. They are so generous with their time to tell you about their journey.

Aseman Bagheri ’22, a double major in biochemistry and statistics at St. Lawrence University shared that the highlight of her time was “working as an EMT in SLUEMS where I found the community of fellow healthcare providers and leaders of diverse backgrounds who continue to serve their community despite balancing many responsibilities.” Her advice to incoming students is 1) Take advantage of new experiences and opportunities, 2) Take care of your happiness and mental health, and 3) Value the international experience and journey.

Chiara Bondi ’22, a mathematics major with a physics and computer science double minor at Hamilton College had this advice for incoming international students, “Ask as many questions as you need to and don’t be afraid to share your home country and culture here!! Don’t try and “Americanize” yourself but allow both American experiences as well as your home country’s experiences. Keeping in touch with my Italian and Spanish background made tough times here easier and so many fun events with friends sharing food and memories.” A highlight of her time at Hamilton was the  experience of learning about other cultures and sharing different perspectives.

Daniel Wilcox ’22, a double major in political science and economics with a minor in Chinese reflected on his time at Union College, “The ability to get to know professors and staff at Union, both professionally and personally, has been a real benefit that I would not have experienced in the UK. The great benefit of Union as a liberal arts institution is the opportunity to take classes from a multitude of disciplines, and therefore meet professors from all over the college. The willingness and desire of the professors I have met to get to know me as an individual and support me through their classes and beyond, has been outstanding.” Wilcox added “Most recently, having completed my senior thesis, I was able to work in-depth with two professors on my project. From the very beginning I saw the passion, knowledge, and support that they were willing to impart upon me. I will be forever grateful for this experience and all of the others.” When asked what advice he had for incoming students he emphasized taking time to get acclimatized and comfortable, including getting used to classes, making friends, and sorting out the logistics of bank accounts, etc. “However, once settled, be sure to make the most of the liberal arts system and the residential college experience. The opportunities and connections made through extracurricular activities, and the extra depth that this has brought to my college experience, are one of the highlights of my four years…it is exciting and sometimes surprising to see the mutual connections that many of us have. Use these connections to gain new experiences, broaden your horizons and knowledge, and create that community that will stick with you for the rest of your life,” said Wilcox.