Friday, March 20, 2009

UVA is my home :)

Name: Kim Sine (I'm second from the right in that picture)
Major: East Asian Studies (and maybe Anthropology, too)
Year: Third year (Yeah 2010!)
Country: It’s complicated…

Hey (possible) future Wahoos! My name is Kim and I’m actually American. So why am I writing on a blog for international students? Well, I only actually lived in the US until I was in first grade. I’m not really sure what to say when people ask me where I call home. I grew up in Beijing, China, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Manila, Philippines. Currently my family lives in Bangkok, Thailand. So I can identify with some of the questions that you may have about UVA.

I guess the biggest question going through your mind right now is if UVA is the right university for you. Honestly, before coming to UVA I wasn’t sure if it was the right place for me. So after all of my acceptances (and, yes, rejections) came in, I started looking into the schools where I was accepted. I read that UVA had a great balance between work and play. The college books also said that UVA students really do love going to UVA. It seemed like what I was looking for, but I still wasn’t sure. I hadn’t visited UVA for a tour, I didn’t know much about Virginia, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to have enough diversity.

I decided to come to the international student orientation session right before classes started in August. During orientation, I was nervous, shy and didn’t seem to make friends as easily as I had hoped.

So I moved into my dorm, feeling both excited and apprehensive. Because I went to the international student orientation, I got to move into my room early. The next day, when everyone else moved into the dorm, I started to meet my suitemates. Immediately, I met another American girl who had grown up abroad. I also had suitemates from Korea, Burma, Greece, and the Virgin Islands, in addition to a bunch of people from Virginia (of varying ethnicities). It was more diverse than I could have ever imagined. We didn’t all become best friends, but it was a nice little community of people within the greater UVA community where I felt at home.

I’ll be honest; it’s hard when my roommates from Virginia go home for the weekend because they “really miss their family.” Or when I have to calculate, and wait 12 hours until I can talk to my mom on Skype. But overall, I have really enjoyed my time at UVA. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else. Now I can add Charlottesville to one of the places that I consider “home.”

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