November 17 is International Students Day, so we’re celebrating some of our international students who call Millersville their home away from home. They told us what it’s like to be a student studying abroad at the ‘Ville and talk about the various support services that Millersville University offers to international students studying abroad here at the ‘Ville.  

Above: Leyre Luna Gonzalez Vicario poses for a photo.

LEYRE LUNA GONZALEZ VICARIO – LA RIOJA, SPAIN 

1. What’s your major? 

My major is elementary education.

2. What made you choose MU? 

I chose Millersville University because it is well known as a top destination for teacher education.

3. What kind of challenges do you face as an international student? 

As an international student, the main challenge I had found is the “unwritten cultural rules” in daily life and the slang language barrier. Sometimes people don’t know that those words are not familiar to us.

4. Did you experience culture shock? 

I experienced culture shock, but only in the tiny, day-to-day things as I have said, but I prefer to take it as a learning opportunity. 

5. What’s the best part about being an international student? 

The best part of being an international student is that everybody wants to know more about you, your home country and the differences you find with the U.S. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet a lot of different people. 

6. What kinds of support does MU offer for international students? 

The office of international services is full of wonderful people that can’t wait to help you, mainly on the first days when you are still adapting to your new life. They organize an orientation week at the beginning of the semester with all the important steps you don’t want to miss. Also, they watch out for us during all our stay in MU.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to add?  

Studying abroad has been an awesome experience and staying at MU has given me the chance to know incredible people. I have felt like home since the first day, and now I know I made the right decision in choosing Millersville to study abroad. 

Above: Lisa Leseigneur smiles for the camera.

LISA LESEIGNEUR – NORMANDY, FRANCE 

1. What’s your major and when will you graduate? 

My major here is English but I’m basically studying foreign languages. 

2. What made you choose MU?

I choose MU because of all the advantages it was offering (because of the partnership with my university in France) but mainly because of its location. (Close to cities I wanted to visit). 

3. What kind of challenges do you face as an international student?

As an international student, obviously the language is a challenge especially during the first days but I got used to it quickly. Trying to fit in and getting used to the culture is obviously the biggest challenge still. 

4. Did you experience culture shock?

I did, the food is completely different from what I consume back in my country. The time where people eat is also a shock for me. It is out of step from the time I usually eat but it’s not that big of a deal. Also, how people communicate here that is quite different from France and it was difficult for me to understand clearly what they meant sometimes. 

5. What’s the best part about being an international student? 

The best part is that everything is a new discovery, an adventure and I love that feeling. Everyone I met here is super nice and helpful. They are super interested when I say that I am from France and I just love leaving that experience. I am meeting new people from here but also from all around the world and that’s even more interesting to share your culture with multiple countries. 

6. What kinds of support does MU offer for international students? 

MU offers help at any time, they are here if you need help and they are always hosting events for the international students to make them feel welcome here. 

7. Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

I will just say that for the moment I don’t regret at all deciding to come here and I would recommend everyone to go study abroad. Even if you think it’s a scary experience it’s definitely worth it. You’ll make unforgettable memories and build long-lasting friendship 

Above: Dana Kim poses with arms outstreched in front of a city skyline.

DANA KIM – SOUTH KOREA

1. Whats your major and when will you graduate?

I am studying psychology and will graduate in 2024.

2. What made you choose MU? 

When I was young, I liked the book Magic Tree House, so I always wanted to visit Pennsylvania. Also, since I love music and singing, I had to choose Millersville University, which is famous for its great music programs.

3. What kind of challenges do you face as an international student? 

Due to the lack of my language skills and cultural differences, I am always careful about words and behaviors because I am afraid of hurting or offending people without realizing it.

4. Did you experience culture shock?

It was impressive that the students and the professor communicated closely with each other. Also, it was impressive that the building always uses air conditioners or heaters without opening the windows.

5. Whats the best part about being an international student? 

The best thing is that everyday life is full of novelty. Also, as an international student, I was not only able to broaden my horizons by experiencing a new culture different from the culture I lived, but also learn and grow by reflecting on my life from a new perspective. 

6. What kind of support does MU offer for international students? 

International Programs and Services helps international students from preparing program to adapting to new cultures kindly and supportively. In addition, every faculty member at MU treated international students equally and supportively, too. MU’s warm faculty members and various programs in MU were great support for me.

7. Is there anything else youd like to add?

Luckily, I was able to meet wonderful people here, and I got a lot of help from my friends and faculty at MU. I am really grateful to them, and if anyone wants to study in Korea, I will be really happy to help them, too! 

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