Some of the most interesting and friendly people on this campus are those who are only with us for a short time: International students. Whether they are only here for a semester or two, or whether they choose to spend all four years here, they bring a unique and enriching presence to PC.
One such student whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know is Yiran Liu. Here she goes by Katherine. She is from Beijing, China, where she is majoring in International Trade at the China Foreign Affairs University. Katherine, who wanted to study abroad in order to learn about life in other countries and as a chance to travel, decided to come to Presbyterian College for a couple of different reasons. She liked the f
act that it was located in a small city, saying that is a good change from the fast pace back home. Knowing that it was a good institution with nice professors and students, Katherine was also interested in PC as a test run of sorts. Because she wants to go to graduate school in the United States, she wanted to spend some time studying here before committing to grad school. Katherine feels that PC has welcomed her well and claims that life here is actually rather similar to life at home.
The language difference can sometimes be a challenge: “Sometimes” she said, “I feel like I have a hard time expressing myself, but I try,” and occasionally what she says comes out different from how she meant it too, especially when she is trying to answer a question in one of her classes.
When I asked her what the hardest adjustment has been, Katherine was quick to respond, “No public transportation, no taxis!” One of her favorite things to do so far is to go Greenville and try new kinds of food. She said “I figured, I’m in America, I should try American food and when I’m in China, I’ll eat Asian food.” She spoke very highly of her recent trip to Charleston and loved eating at Hyman’s.
Although she’d rather eat with friends at GDH than at Springs, if she could change one thing about PC it would be the food. “I’d have it be Asian food,” she laughed. Her favorite thing has been seeing the many squirrels around campus, but she doesn’t feel the same about the skunks: “I don’t like them,” she stated emphatically. Katherine said her favorite class is her Capitalism class. “I like when people have different ideas and they talk about them,” she said. “It’s like, he thinks this and she thinks this, but oh, they think different from me.”
If you happen to see her around campus, take a minute to stop and talk to her. Ask her about the 2008 Olympics, about how she met Michael Phelps the year he won the most gold medals in Olympic history, or about how she watched Usain Bolt take the title of the fastest man alive. And then keep an eye out for more stories about PC’s very own International students!