Thank you so much! I love getting questions!
a) I think I had a bit of a late start. (I’m generally slow at everything haha) So, to be honest, my first few weeks was a little tough. Most of my troubles were in my social life. I thought I fit in well with other international students, but I had some trouble fitting in with American students. Of course, I didn’t want to only hang out with Asian international students, so I’m working on expanding my comfort zone this semester. When I was feeling lonely, the friends I made from International Students’ Pre-Orientation (ISP) really helped, because they were having similar experiences too.
b) ISP this year was about 100 students, so it was easy to make a few close friends before all the first years came in. I’m really glad I was at ISP, or else I would have been waaaay too overwhelmed.
During the day we gathered for information sessions about student visa, passport, filing taxes, bank accounts, American culture, health etc. We ate all three meals in Lamont House. In the evening the ISP leaders (other international Smithies) talked to us about student life. We did karaoke night, ice cream social, game night, manicure and lots of other fun activities. On the last day, everybody wears their country’s clothing for a picture in front of JMG Hall.
c) I’m one of the conference chairs of a student organisation called the Asian Student Association (ASA). ASA is a small student org that attend and prepare conferences to learn and spread Asian awareness. Right now, I’m in charge of setting up a conference about Asians in the Media.
I’m an alto for the first year choir and clarinet/ tenor saxophone for the Jazz Ensemble (I’m not really sure if that’s a club or extracurricular…?) I’ve been playing instrumental music since I was small, but I never performed in singing groups, so choir is something I challenged myself in. Jazz Ensemble is a continuation of my hobby.
Recently, two friends and I formed a singing group called Hanabi. We performed for the first time in the Asian Teahouse during Family Weekend. After that, we’ve been invited to two other Asian student org events. It’s mostly for fun. :)
And some other Japanese Smithies and I recently started up a project called “Smith&Me.” to promote study abroad for Japanese students by blogging and making videos of our college life.
I like all the activities I’m involved because they represent my different hobbies and interests. Hmm but if I had to choose, “Smith&Me.” is the most exciting for me right now. I like how I’m a part of a group of people building a project from scratch. It’s very exciting.
Class of 2018 international Smithies: see more information about this year’s International Student Pre-Orientation here!