Dandan Qu, Tianjin, China
My Roots/About Me
I’m from Tianjin in the northern part of China, and I thought it was cold there, but when I came to Iowa, I learned what real winter and real snow are. However, I feel a lot of warmth here because of the people at Cornell. One of my hobbies is playing the piano. Cornell has awesome piano teachers. Not only are they patient, they are good teachers too.
Areas of study
Psychology and religion
Eyes of the World, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Lunch Buddies Program
Long Term Goal
I have not decided what I am going to do in the future yet, but for now I want to learn some social skills, meet new people, and explore the different fields which would help me determine my future plans.
Did you have any concerns about fitting in at Cornell? I went to a big high school, so I was concerned about how small Cornell is. I was nervous about how I would make friends here, and I didn’t know if many people would have the same interests as me. But in fact, people here are really nice, and it’s easy to make connections.
What were some of your initial impressions of the campus community?
I was shocked by the warmness of the people here. I remember one time I was lost in Mount Vernon, even though it is a small town. I was going to a grocery store, but I didn’t even know how to get back to the campus.
While I was freaking out, another Cornell student asked me if I wanted any help, and she helped me find my way back to campus. I suddenly felt warm and safe. She also told me that since Mount Vernon is a small town and people here are really nice, I could always get help from other people. Since that moment I’ve felt that I have a home in America.
How would you describe the campus culture to other international students?
I think Cornell really cares about international students. I was amazed that I could get a host family—I didn’t know that was available until I came here. My host family are very nice people. They picked me up at the airport and helped me transition in America. I also learned more about the culture from them as well. The Intercultural Life Office at Cornell also provides a lot of help for international students. I remember when we were in the first block, the Intercultural Life Office gave every international student a bag of candy and encouraged us to study hard. It was heart moving for me when I saw the candy.
I enjoyed the New Student Orientation very much. I didn’t expect it to be such a fun experience. I met a lot of students and staff on campus. It was a nice start of college life for me. I remember we played games, had good food, and watched a movie together. That was a good time to get to know people better.