Randolph-Macon is happy to welcome twelve new international students to campus this school year. R-MC has gained three new students from Vietnam, two students from France, two students from Spain, one student from the comarca of Lea in Spain, and one student from each of the following countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Adjusting to college is a difficult process for students who are in their own country, but international students must learn to adjust to an entirely new country and culture.
Vietnamese student Nguyet Tran, or “Luna” as her friends call her, said that there are many differences between the United States and Vietnam. One example Luna shared is that Vietnam “is much more crowded, noisy, and loud.”
Luna seems to be enjoying living in the United States and stated that she “like[s] the environment.” After having lived in the US for one year through her high school’s study abroad program, Luna knew that she wanted to come to the United States for college.
“The US has an excellent reputation and quality of education,” Luna explained.
Akari Momose, an international student from Japan, chose to come to the US because she “wanted to be different from other Japanese people who are attending Japanese universities.” She also chose the United States with the hope of improving her English.
As for being at Randolph-Macon, Luna is enthusiastic about living on campus. She finds R-MC to be “beautiful” and is happy with the school’s location near both Richmond and Washington, D.C.
“R-MC has many good academic pro-grams that I like such as Economics, Ac-counting, and Communications,” Luna stated. One of the benefits of having many programs that interests Luna is that she will “have a lot of choices.”
When it comes to adjusting to a new school year, some aspects are easier than others. For many of the international students, it is difficult to make friends due to differences in culture and language, and a need for a longer adjustment period.
One positive thing that helps R-MC’s international students is the uplifting attitudes and personalities of the members of the R-MC community.
“I still have difficulty with understanding English, but I’m having a wonderful time,” Akari shared. “People in the U.S. [are friendlier] than people in Japan!” “This is home,” Luna agreed. “Everyone is friendly and care[s] about each other like a family.”
As freshman at R-MC, Luna and Akari have already gotten used to the campus and are enthusiastic about their time at Randolph-Macon. Luna is hoping to major in Business and Economics, as well as possibly Sociology. Akari is leaning towards a major in International Studies due to her interest in cultural anthropology.
At Randolph-Macon there is an International House which houses twelve students each year. As stated on the R-MC website, “The International House is a hub for international life on the R-MC campus, fostering intercultural friendships and initiating cross-cultural learning experiences for residents and for the R-MC community as a whole.
One of the most significant aspects of the International House is that it comes equipped with a full kitchen. Having a full kitchen is a great way to give international students the ability to cook food from their home countries and feel connected to their home culture while immersed in American life.
Currently, R-MC has set a new record with twelve new international students and twenty returning international students being welcomed back to campus. As times goes on, R-MC hopes to continue growing as a culturally diverse community and wants to continue to welcome large numbers of international students each year.
-Kayla Koslosky ’18, Junior Features Editor