By Emily Shen (M.S. in Accounting ’23)
I remember the first day walking into Rouss & Robertson Halls as an international student. There were so many different thoughts going through my head. Whom will I meet? Will my peers be welcoming? How challenging will the coursework be? Will I be able to get involved in the School community as an international student? Have they even heard of Taiwan before? I was so excited to start a new chapter in my life at UVA, but the uncertainty was still intimidating at the same time.
Adjusting as an International Student
Coming from a country thousands of miles away with a completely different culture, I was worried it would be hard to make friends and adjust to the American way of life. Little did I know that everyone I would meet in the program would be super welcoming from day one. Many were curious about my culture and wanted to learn more about my background. McIntire offers many opportunities for people in my cohort to socialize and get to know each other. I formed genuine friendships with people from my program and have spent so much time hanging out with them over the past semester. The faculty at McIntire is super accommodating and considerate as well. They understand the struggle as an international student, so they provide additional support to ensure a smooth transition to the United States and McIntire.
One of the main reasons I decided to come to the University of Virginia is because the M.S. in Accounting (MSA) Program is STEM-designated. Due to sponsorship and visa restrictions, most international students face difficulties securing a full-time job after graduation. Many companies are unwilling to hire international students due to the uncertainty of securing a work visa. Thankfully, with the MSA being a STEM-designated program, I had many more opportunities when applying for jobs in the U.S. In addition, the Commerce Career Center at McIntire is extremely helpful with resume drafting, employer engagement opportunities, and career advice in general. Almost every international student has secured a job within the first semester. For the Class of 2022, 100% of the international students received offers, and 85% signed with Big Four accounting firms. The faculty and career services team are also familiar with the job search process for international students. Personally, I was able to connect with multiple potential employers with the help of the faculty and career services.
If you are looking for a great place to study accounting as an international student, check out McIntire and its M.S. in Accounting Program!