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International Students Settle in at Merrimack College

Tianfan Chen ’16, Staff Writer

This year at Merrimack, there are 27 new international students and 12 students in the graduate programs.

International students are an important part of Merrimack College. There are 165 undergraduate international students from all over the world, including: China, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Germany, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Canada, Ivory Coast, Venezuela, New Zealand, Ghana, Sweden, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brazil, Bolivia and Russia. Maura F. Shaffer, Academic Counselor for International Students shared,” Each international student is unique. Some have high GPA’s with a number of students attaining the Dean’s List(3.25 GPA or higher).

International students share great relationships with day students. PC Wan is an international student from China. He has a lot of good friends who are all day students. He is also the RA of the new dorm that Merrimack just built. He said, “I have a very good time hanging out with the local day students. A lot of international students are afraid to talk to day students because they think they have accent in English and people might laugh at them. Students from Merrimack are very friendly and I don’t have to worry about my accent. I really enjoy living with them.” International students also participate in a lot of other activities and sports teams For example international students participate in soccer, football, tennis, golf and the hockey. There are also international students work in the Writing Center and the Math Center as tutors. Sophia Zhao, another international student, expresses how she feels about working in the Math Center: “I feel very happy to help others with my skills. It is also a very good job experience too.” Recently, students were elected to the Student Government Association. Max Zhang ‘16 (China) is on the SGA Executive Board. Shakee Messina ’15 (Venezuela) was elected as 2015 Representative. Zhijang Yu ’16 (China) and Chenyang Yan ’16 (China) were elected as class of 2016 representatives. New freshmen Jiawei Qin ’17 and Baolun Ma ’17 were elected to represent the class of 2017.

Fiona Wei, a new first year graduate student from China, talks about how she feels about the new school after class: “There are a lot of differences between colleges in China and here in America. I like it better here because I feel that the teachers and students are more united here and I am so amazed by the new hockey rink. I look forward to the international students events soon.” Maura spoke about the international events at Merrimack: “At Merrimack we have an International Global Village and International Tea. We also celebrate Thanksgiving, which is a common autumn celebration by having an international Thanksgiving dinner for our international students before our Thanksgiving break.”

At last, Maura wanted to remind all international students to read their emails and Blackboard at least twice a day. There might be an important message about the school or classes! The Beacon Staff wishes all international students a great semester. Make the best of your time at Merrimack College and work hard!

1 Response

  1. Being an international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language. Help must come from multiple quarters. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook to help anyone coming to the US is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding, including international students. Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they contributed to our society, including students.
    A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with such things as a new culture, friendship process and classroom differences they will encounter. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work for an American firm here or overseas. It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win two-way situation. Good luck to all wherever you study!

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