Studying Abroad at Oxy
Blogger: Mengxi (Daisy) Zhang
Let me introduce myself. I am Daisy Zhang (张梦溪 if by any chance you read Chinese), a first year international student from Beijing, China.
I am a prospective 3/2 Physics or Philosophy major, and I am taking Physics 106 (Waves), Philosophy 210 (Historical Intro to Philosophy), CSP13 (American Dream), and Karate this semester.
Many people have asked my “Do you feel homesick?” during these days, and my answer has not yet changed: “not at all, I am still in the honeymoon phase with America.” Life at Oxy is truly amazing.
Oxy’s International Program Office (IPO) sent all incoming international students a booklet called “Destination Occidental: Pre-Departure Guide for International Students” before we landed on the soil of America. It has virtually all of the information needed for arriving and surviving at Oxy. For example, it explains how to get a student Visa, what the weather is like in LA, what should I pack, how to pay for tuition, how to get to Oxy from the airport (though IPO arranged students to pick us up at LAX), what a meal plan is, what academic life is like in the US, what social life is like in the US, and most importantly, how to deal with the culture shock.
During the International student orientation, staff at IPO told us that everyone who studies abroad would go through a certain adjustment period. And that has been true for me so far! I cried because I couldn’t write and read English as well as my classmates do and once I got lost in downtown L.A. at night with friends. However, now, after being at Oxy for only 1 month and 25 days, I constantly dream in awkward English. Isn’t that amazing?
Last weekend, I went to Glendale with other Oxy students for the LA Chamber Orchestra Concert. This weekend (fall break), me and 10 other Oxy students in the Biology club drove to Monterey Bay to visit the aquarium and the research institute, and camped for three days. I could not have had these experiences if I chose to attend another liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere. I am enjoying my life at Oxy so much!
If you have any question about life at Oxy as an international student (or other stuff), feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to help.