From the day I shadowed at CHCA, I knew that it would be my home. It wasn’t the small classes, insightful teachers, or encouraging environment that convinced me, though those things did help seal the deal. Instead, what really stuck out to me was the flags above Miracle Commons, each one belonging to a country represented in our community of students and alumni.
As a domestic student with a passion for studying languages and learning about other cultures, it amazed me to think that CHCA’s International Student Program has welcomed students from 14 countries to my city, and I knew I needed to get involved. My freshman year, I worked with program director Todd Bacon to start gathering like-minded students and build a community of support around our international friends. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to see shows at the Aronoff, watch basketball games at UC, go tubing at Perfect North, and even travel to Washington, DC for new student orientation, just to name a few examples.
As amazing as these experiences have been, the best part is getting to know all the international students personally. Each one has a different story to tell, and I’m grateful for the experiences, classes, and inside jokes that I share with each one of my international friends. Whether it’s working with Jerry for hours to figure out our frustrating computer science project, laughing with Cindy about my clumsy calculator skills, trying to sneak up on Olivia in the hallway between classes, or cracking up at Arseny’s perfectly timed one-liners, the friendships I’ve developed with international students have broadened and challenged my thinking.
Interested in making some new friends? Stop by the ISP office and get an application to be involved, or just say hi to the international student who sits by you in class. You never know where it will lead!