This is an excerpt from the article International students add vibrancy to Geneseo community on thelcn.com.
Many people may think of SUNY Geneseo as a small, rural college. But for others, it’s a big place.
For students from abroad, facing cultural and language barriers, Geneseo seems larger than it is.
There are about 140 international undergraduates among the total enrollment of 5,500 students, according to Carly O’Keefe, an assistant director for the International Students and Scholar Services at SUNY Geneseo.
The presence of so many students from foreign countries can be exciting for the international students and larger Geneseo community.
“It was easy for me to adjust to this environment at SUNY Geneseo,” said Seraphina Ling, a native of Malaysia, “because it is not too big and it is not too small.”
Ling has been in Geneseo since fall 2015. This is her first time living abroad.
Before coming to Geneseo, Ling’s perspective about New York was New York City, a location that appears prominently on a Google map, but not Geneseo, which may appear to be full of green fields. She did not expect to see farms and squirrels before coming to Geneseo.
However, Ling said that her opinion about New York has been positively changed after getting used to the college atmosphere.
“I have already gotten used to the size of SUNY Geneseo because many classes that I have taken so far are small and it is easier for me to communicate with classmates or professors, especially if I have something to ask,” Ling said. “If I went to a bigger university than SUNY Geneseo, I would be definitely lost.”
According to O’Keefe, since all residences on campus keep open during fall or spring break, SUNY Geneseo international students can have their choices to live in any dorms from fall 2016, but three dorms among the 17 dorms on campus have kept the international students together to help them adjust until spring 2016.
Manami Endo, a biology major, came from Japan in fall 2015.
“I like how there is a specific dorm for international students on campus so time can be shared with the international students and American students,” Endo said,
Endo does not speak English as her first language, but the time to talk with American students in the dorm is a good way for her to adjust to campus life.
O’Keefe said that International Students and Scholar Services provides field trips each semester. During a short fall or spring break, international students cannot go back home so the college provides field trips, such as an outing to Niagara Falls, for them to have fun and not have to stay in an empty campus residence hall.