Global UGRAD Students’ Favorite Places

This month we asked our Global UGRAD students to share with us their favorite places in their U.S. communities. We received responses ranging from river walks to libraries, all special in their own way. Please read on to get a glimpse of where our Global UGRAD students’ daily lives take place.

Zhanna Ateibek from Kazakhstan at University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

Large, open room filled with arm chairs, plants, and tall glass windows.

This is my favorite place on campus. This is a great spot for studying, reading, being alone, and just for chilling. It is always warm here and quiet for the most part. As you can see, it has huge windows, plants, and an outside view with a garden and fountain which makes this place very cozy for me.

Becky Awitty from Kenya at Murray State University

Becky is gathered around a dining room table with friends at church about to eat Sunday dinner. My favorite place is the First Baptist church in Murray. I love the activities we engage in because unlike my country we have game nights, retreats, hiking, camping, lunches and dinners together. Not to mention the amount of support they have for the international students and the amazing songs we sing on Sundays. I am truly at peace interacting with other students and the members of the community in such an environment. Everyone is so nice and ready to help without being asked sometimes.

Amna Alkhair from Bahrain at Florida Gulf Coast University

Two comfortable chairs in the library overlooking the pond below.

This is one of my my favorite spots on campus to study, chill, or read. I spend most of my time at the library studying with another Global UGRAD student. My favorite part about the library is that every floor has a different vibe and a different view. I either spend my time surrounded by books or sitting on an arm chair facing nature.

 Shine Wang from China at University of Minnesota

My A standing outdoor post with the words "Walter Library" written on it. favorite place on campus is Walter Library. I spend approximately 15 hours each week in the building, so it’s definitely the love of my heart (or brain). It’s a very old building with beautiful decorations and amazing ceilings. There are dozens of paintings hanging on the wall and the atmosphere makes you want to stay for another hour even if you’re really hungry and tired. My favorite room of the library is the quiet study room. I love reading without disruptions. With my favorite study music, especially, time just seems to fly so fast.

 Marselo Hamonangan from Indonesia at Minnesota State University, Mankato

A red pool table with pool sticks leaning against it.My favorite spot to hang out with friends is the billiard room because I love playing pool. It’s not just about shooting the balls, but also about strategy and emotional control. I love these two. When you have strategy or planning in life, you can live smoothly. However, the fluctuation of your mood may sometimes become a huge barrier. You must be stable and keep focused on your strategy. While playing pool, I learn to maintain my emotions and to think through every possibility. It’s not just about pocketing one ball, but rather, setting the table in a way that allows me to pocket all the balls. While playing pool, I can become friends with my opponents. Making friends is usually hard for me in Minnesota, but it seems easy when playing pool.

Bodor Alhaddad from Saudi Arabia at University of Tennessee Knoxville

Becky is sitting on her bicycle under a tree by the Tennessee River.The Tennessee River is really close by my university campus. I always go there to bike on Friday afternoons or during the day with my friends. It’s an amazing place—well-kept with chairs and swings, and people having fun. Sometimes we see ducks and trains passing by. Since the weather is great nowadays, I would love to go have a picnic there as well!

Jesús Gonzalez from Venezuela at East Tennessee State University

My favorite place during my first semester at East Tennessee State University was the ELS Language Center, the place where I was taking classes. That place meant a lot to me for so many reasons. I found two of my best friends: a Global UGRAD participant, Kumhyang, and my extraordinary Bolivian friend, Victor. I shared so many stories and memories with these two friends. Also, my English improved greatly there. In short, during my time at the ELS Language Center, I discovered a better version of myself, including my potential as a global citizen, leader, and mostly, I felt at home there.

Jesús is hanging out with friends in class, on top of a mountain and at the acquarium.


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