Reflections: First Impressions of the United States and Campus

The smell of fall is in the air and for many of you, this is the first week of class. For others, you have been hard at work for weeks or even a month. Take a moment to think back. Do you remember touching down in America? Do you remember your first day on campus: the smells, the sights, the “new” in everything?

We asked our students to reflect on their first impressions. Here’s what they said:

“Arriving in the United States, along with being independent, I had to leave my stereotypes behind and be open-minded. The following day, I entered Ole Miss and was greeted by immense warmth – not only because of the weather and the enchantingly beautiful campus, but also of the people, defining exactly what “Southern hospitality” is… Many times, I thought that the journey to Ole Miss as an exchange student would be a road that I would have to tread on my own. Instead, I found myself in a sea of new faces and friends, most of which are also international students making their way through a foreign land. Together, we were delighted at how huge and beautiful the Oxford campus is; we were surprised at how everyone greets people they meet, even the bus drivers or fellow shoppers at Walmart. Personally, I was delighted over the diversity of people in the campus. I was overwhelmed at the warmth that they had, and how willing they are to extend themselves to help someone out in their concerns…” – Jhesset Enano, student from the Philippines studying at The University of Mississippi.

“I have never seen a place like a Hawai‘i. I grown up in the city with a lot of people with busy life and crowded all the time. However unlike my hometown, there is a peace and remind me a slow food movement. I can say the place I arrived two weeks ago is totally different from my city. Let me tell you exactly why. First, people here smile all the time when I eye contact to them. At first I was not able to do that but now I do same thing just like Hawaiian does. Hawaiian’s traditional customs are more similar to Eastern customs than western. For example, They believe every source of nature has a  soul and a ‘Ohana’ (family in Hawaiian) centered society even nowadays. Fortunately, I have three roommates and they are all original Hawaiian. Therefore every day, I can find the differences between mainland people and original Hawaiians.” – Han Sang Lee, student from Korea studying at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

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