I am a fourth-year at the McIntire School of Commerce, concentrating in Finance and Information Technology, as well as majoring in Economics. I am an international student from Mumbai, India. My motivation for coming to the United States was the flexibility of taking classes across the academic spectrum before deciding on a major/concentration. McIntire’s Integrated Core Experience (ICE) curriculum supplemented this flexibility, as it allowed me to take a broad range of courses within business, from Strategy to Marketing to Quantitative Studies.
Being an international student is hard, not only because you’re experiencing the transition from high school to college, but also shifting across the globe into a different culture and lifestyle. I don’t think it’s easy, but I found several support systems at McIntire that helped me feel at home. During McIntire’s orientation, when everyone introduced themselves, I noticed how everyone’s background seemed very different. I appreciated the professors asking the correct pronunciation of students’ names and using global companies in examples and case studies. Even though this may seem minor, it helped me in not feeling isolated.
Different cultures are celebrated at McIntire. I loved when McIntire’s Commerce Council had chai and samosas during the breaks between classes! Student Services hosted a Lunar New Year celebration that included decorations, crafts, games, and snacks. The Latino Student Network at McIntire, in collaboration with McIntire’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), hosted an event for Hispanic Heritage Month. Through celebrating festivals with my classmates, I’ve learned about their cultures or taught them about mine, and I found that to be a great way of getting to know each other. At the McIntire School of Commerce, we often use the term COMMunity. It truly encourages inclusiveness and collaboration, which play a great role in discussion-based classroom learning.
In my third year, almost a third of my class studied abroad for the spring semester! There is a strong emphasis at McIntire for every student to have some form of a global academic experience. This is encouraged through the several study-abroad programs offered at McIntire throughout the year, as well as the courses for the Global Commerce Track. I’ve also had the chance to meet several exchange students at McIntire who are here for a semester or a year. To work with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives has been most fruitful for me, and there’s so much to learn at McIntire beyond business itself.