First Impressions and New Experiences

As the spring semester unfolds, World Learning is thrilled to welcome a diverse cohort of Global UGRAD students to campuses across the country. Each semester, Global UGRADs from all corners of the globe embark on a transformative journey to pursue their academic aspirations in the United States.

Global UGRADs Aisha Tanas, Yojanny Ramirez, and Tergel Azjargal at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans

For many Global UGRADs, the first impressions of their host university and community play a pivotal role in shaping their overall experience. From the charming streets of Charleston to the serene landscapes of the Midwest, the United States offers an assortment of new sights, sounds, and experiences. These initial days are often a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation, as well as an exploration of navigating unfamiliar customs and social norms.

Yojanny Ramirez (Dominican Republic) shared a photo of herself and the two other Global UGRADs attending Xavier University of Louisiana, Aisha Tanas (Kazakhstan) and Tergel Azjargal from (Mongolia), and wrote, “Three girls from three different countries who could only dream of being here. Today that dream is a reality. As we start our first week at Xavier University of Louisiana, we can only be grateful and committed to giving our best.”

Hovig Jawichian posing with the University of Arkansas mascot

By embracing the spirit of adventure and curiosity, Global UGRADs open themselves up to a world of possibilities and opportunities. Hovig Jawichian, who comes from Lebanon and is studying at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, shared, “I am ready to embark on this amazing journey and make everlasting memories. I went to my first gymnastics match and got a picture with our mascot.”

Whether it’s trying new foods, exploring local attractions, or forging friendships with classmates from diverse backgrounds, each experience serves as a stepping stone toward personal and academic growth. Raksa Ma, from Cambodia, attends Kansas State University and commented about the many new things he has experienced during his time in the United States. “I witnessed snow for the first time in my life and experienced a temperature of -16 Celsius. I also went ice skating with over 30 international students at Manhattan City Park. Another new experience was biking around campus. Made possible through a generous offer from an organization at Kansas State University, I got a free bike to travel around campus and Manhattan. All in all, I’m proud to be studying at Kansas State University.”

Zothile Zulu at Congaree National Park in South Carolina

Additionally, Global UGRADs are experiencing and learning new things in their classes. Zothile Zulu, from Zimbabwe, stated, “At my home university, I am pursuing a degree in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management. In the United States, I am enrolled in a class called “Wilderness” at Presbyterian College and we regularly go on trips. I went to Congaree National Park in South Carolina and saw some of the oldest bottomland forests.”

World Learning looks forward to hearing more about the countless adventures that lie ahead for Global UGRAD students as they embark on this remarkable journey of discovery and create long-lasting memories in the United States.