MTSU

International Voices of MTSU

Did you know that MTSU students can take classes in over 65 countries across the globe?  In light of International Education Week 2017, we partnered with the MTSU Office of International Affairs to showcase numerous foreign exchange students that have been living True Blue this semester.  Here are their stories.

Tzu-Yang Chu, Taiwan 🇹🇼

Portrait of Tzu-Yang Chu (Gary), International Business major, exchange student from CYCU in Taoyuan Ciyt, Taiwan.

Tzu-Yang Chu (Gary), International Business major, exchange student from CYCU in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Photo credit Lili Brewin

“The education systems are very different between Taiwan and The United States. My favorite classes right now are Marketing and Japanese. For marketing, it is so different compared to what we teach in Taiwan. The MTSU professors will play some advertisements and we will analyze how and why each can become successful and what catches the customers’ eyes. I also remember last week the professor spent about twenty minutes showing us how to properly shake hands and interview, which I think will be really useful in the future. I like my Japanese class because we do a lot of interactions with the other students. In Taiwan, we just pay attention to what the professor teaches and only repeat the vocabulary or sentence after what professor says and there is no interaction with classmates. So now I can improve not only my reading and writing ability but also my conversational skills. My hardest class right now is Investment because the investment market here is so different compared to the Taiwanese investment market.  I have to memorize different terms and learn different software to start investing, which is hard since I’m not familiar with the U.S. companies.”

Ghada Bawajeeh, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦

Portrait of Ghada Bawajeeh, Industrial/Organizational Psychology major, international student from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Ghada Bawajeeh, Industrial/Organizational Psychology major, international student from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“I chose to come to MTSU because my mom decided to get her masters degree in Special Education at MTSU. I took a look at the programs that MTSU offers and I really liked it so I decided to come along. I’m really glad I got to come with her. We were really excited to start this mother and daughter journey at MTSU. Of course the whole family had to come too and we get to experience our time in Murfreesboro and in America together.”

Sara Valentina, Venezuela 🇻🇪

Sara Valentina, Chemistry major, international student from Valencia, Venezuela

Sara Valentina, Chemistry major, international student from Valencia, Venezuela. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“When I first came to the Tennessee, I was surprised how people were just so open and so curious about me.  They’d say things like: “Where are you from?” “I notice your accent” “You look a little bit different.” It was a little bit overwhelming at first, but I got used to after a while.”

Martina Maurer, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Portrait of Martina Maurer, Leisure and Sport Management major, ISEP Exchange student from Bern University in Switzerland

Martina Maurer, Leisure and Sport Management major, ISEP Exchange student from Bern University in Switzerland. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“My advice for students whose first language is not English would be to take advantage of the conversation groups offered on campus.  I’ve seen some students learn phrases like “a piece of cake” through fun games which is a cool way to improve your English.  I would also advise to write down any words you hear that you don’t know and continue to review them once you find the meaning.  I’ve made good friends with an English girl here and I would recommend to make those friends as well because, since their native language is English, they help you a lot. Sometimes we don’t know some words and they try to explain it and they are kind of like a translator for us, which is really helpful.”

Dimitri Nanmejo Sinou, Gabon 🇬🇦

Dimitri Nanmejo Sinou, Mechatronics Engineering major, international student from Gabon.

Dimitri Nanmejo Sinou, Mechatronics Engineering major, international student from Gabon. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“When I first stepped foot in the USA, I asked myself “Oh my. Where am I?” There were so many people, so many crowds.  But when I gave myself time to get to know the USA, especially Murfreesboro, I think it’s a wonderful place to be.  It’s not so easy to make friends, but when you do make friends, they are true friends and they will never let you down.”

Yumi Oku, Japan 🇯🇵

Yumi Oku, Social Communication major, exchange student from Saitama University in Japan.

Yumi Oku, Social Communication major, exchange student from Saitama University in Japan. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“My first impression when I came to Tennessee was that the people are so kind and friendly.  Even when I arrived on the MTSU campus for the first time, I got lost on campus.  But I asked some people where my dorm was and they answered so kindly and even took me to my dorm to show me where it was.  That friendliness really made a good first impression.”

Isha Mudgal, India 🇮🇳

Isha Mudgal, Computer Science major, international student from New Delhi, India.

Isha Mudgal, Computer Science major, international student from New Delhi, India. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“For fun, I hang out with my friends and I go out to eat A LOT. I’ve tried almost every restaurant in Murfreesboro. I miss Indian food so bad. I’m always looking for new places that have really good Indian food.  I’d like to say, other than family, that is the thing I really miss about my country.”

Lea Wagner, Germany 🇩🇪

Lea Wagner, Aviation Management major, exchange student from Worms University of Applied Sciences in Germany

Lea Wagner, Aviation Management major, exchange student from Worms University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“Here in Murfreesboro, I enjoy hanging out on campus a lot, because this campus here is so big, especially compared to my campus back home.  We really don’t have these central places like here at MTSU. You can just sit and listen to musicians, you see people filming things, and you just see so many different things and there are always so many things going on around campus, especially at night.  I love to just hang out on campus and see all of that.”

Nawaf Alogaily, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦

Portrait of Nawaf Alogaily, Aerospace major, international student from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Nawaf Alogaily, Aerospace major, international student from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo credit Lili Brewin.

“My advice to anyone wanting to study in another country is to just know that you will have to study hard and you will have to depend on yourself and not on your family. Like me now, I’m not depending on my father anymore. SACM (Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission) provides my scholarship and I have to work hard to maintain it. My father told me from the beginning “After you go to the United States, you will depend on yourself” and so I decided I will and I hope I make him proud.”

Be sure to follow MTSU International Affairs on Facebook and Instagram @mtsuinternational. 

Always stay True Blue!


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