Dandan Qu, Tian Jin, China
My Roots/About Me
I’m from Tian Jin in the northern part of China, and it is cold there. However, when I got 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, but their teaching is good 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? The only concern I had was that this was such a small school, since I went to a big high school. I was nervous about how I would make friends here. There might not be many people who 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, a person came to me and asked me if I wanted any help. She is Cornell student, and she showed me where the campus is. 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. From that moment I felt I got a home in America.
How would you describe the campus culture to other international students?
I think Cornell is really concerned about international students. I was amazed that I could get a host family–I didn’t know it until I came here. My host family are very nice people. They picked me up at the airport and helped me go through the 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 in our mailboxes 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 would be such a fun experience. I met a lot of upper-class students, new students, and staff on campus. It was a nice start of college life for me. I still remember we played games, had many good foods, and watched a movie together. That was a good time to get to know people better.