Adventuring to the USA On My Own
By Yuka Adachi ’17, Marketing and Human Resource Management
A New Journey, Alone
It feels like just yesterday that I started my adventure at Mount Union.
I started my study abroad experience at Mount three years ago and am now finishing my last semester. After three years of memories, there is one quote I can use to sum up my experience – “You can, and you will.”
When I started school here, I was all alone. I had no family and no friends. I was just an 18-year-old girl, fresh off the plane from Japan, ready to start my college life here in Alliance, Ohio. Fast forward to now – I am a senior double-majoring in marketing and human resource management with only a few weeks of classes left. I have made friends from all over the world and am grateful for how much they have impacted my life.
I will admit, my first year had its share of struggles, especially in the classroom. I had a difficult time in-class because of my English proficiency level. It would take all day to read just one chapter, and a whole week to finish a paper. I spent all my time studying, it felt never ending! Looking back on it, I am glad that I did not give up, even after receiving a C on one of my papers.
My freshman year, doing just a five-minute presentation was overwhelming. Now, I have been able to give a presentation that lasted the entire class period for my senior project. Putting in all that hard work was priceless. It took three-plus years for me to get this far, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my professors and friends. But, as I am nearing graduation, I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
One Big Family
My favorite experiences at Mount Union have been meeting other international students. Since the number of international students at our university is not large, we get to know each other very well through campus events. The Association of International Students (AIS), an on-campus student organization, brings both domestic and international students together. AIS hosts lots of events, such as the Annual International Dinner, trips, and meetings every week. Because the group is open to everyone, it’s a great opportunity to make new friends. I have made many, many friends through AIS events. A lot of them have graduated or gone back to their home countries, but we still keep in touch. One of the best things about having friends from different places is that you get to visit their countries and stay for free! I have visited my friends in the US, Europe, and South Korea, and am hoping to visit more places soon!
I would like to say thank you to my friends and professors who have been so open-minded to international students. I appreciate them working through our communication misunderstandings and asking lots of questions. We shouldn’t have to worry about offending someone or making mistakes, but take things one step forward at a time. We are all different and we are all here to learn.