Spring 2019 First Impressions

World Learning asked our Global UGRADs to describe their first impressions of their host campuses. Check out what they said about their ‘homes’ for this semester!

Adina Joseph, Malaysia, Chatham University: My first impression of my campus was if I was in a Narnia or Harry Potter world setting. Chatham University is so beautiful it almost does not feel real. My program adviser, Kate Emory, really took care of me. She even took me and a fellow Global UGRAD to Target for shopping. The most surprising thing I’ve noticed is the classroom environment. I like how students are given the freedom to voice their opinions actively without having to feel if they have made a mistake. I really love how everyone eagerly raises their hands to say something during the lessons. I will definitely continue this attitude and approach once I return to my home university in Malaysia. Actively engaging makes learning much more fun. I feel at home with the local community here.


Gabriela Marotta, Venezuela, University of Arkansas: Before coming to University of Arkansas I did a lot of research, saw pictures and videos online, and thought it was beautiful. Being here, it is even better than what I expected. The campus has pretty much everything that I need and more. It has gyms, rock climbing walls, several entertainment rooms, computer rooms, and great places to study. The thing that stood out the most for me is how much importance they give to the university mascot, the Razorbacks. Everything is about Razorbacks! This is quite different from my home university where we don’t have a mascot.


Ahmad Masalha, Israel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: It has been a wonderful first week in the U.S., purely magnificent. I settled in the beautiful Cougar Village surrounded by many deer, squirrels, and other lovely animals. The apartment is cozy, neat, and I have a kind-hearted American roommate! When it snows, the scenery is magical. When I said that I love snow, some local people shook their heads in joking disapproval and we laughed together. I played games, explored campus, and practiced seven different languages with the lovely ladies and gentlemen in the International Affairs Office. I also participated in a traditional American custom — shopping at Walmart!