Cultural exchanges that teach me about the wonderful things that other people, places, and cultures have to offer.
Having the opportunity to travel is an amazing experience that one could ever have. Learning about new cultures, understanding other people from different countries, and finding the wonderful things that other places offer: their history, their nature, and their people. Traveling opens your view to many things that you didn’t know before, things that sometimes never cross our minds otherwise. New knowledge is always a good experience, and having been an international student for around 12 years of my life, I was able to experience things that others would never have the opportunity to do so.
My name is Ayavitl Acalli Gonzalez Navarro. Ayavitl Acalli means “fog that rises from the waters” in Nahuatl, but I go by Acalli, as it is easier to remember and pronounce; let me share a bit about my life with you and allow you to get to know me.
I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in Mexico. When I was 12 years old, my family had the opportunity to move to Singapore. While in Singapore, I studied in an International American School, which would also have school trips to places nearby. As Singapore is in Asia near Malaysia, it was easy to travel to many places such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Maldives, and many other destinations. My family and the school took advantage of the low prices of the tickets, which allowed me to travel a lot.
Coming to America
I moved to Reno, Nevada, with my family around 2018. I was accepted as a Computer Programming student in Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). At the start, finding activities and hobbies was hard. I joined my father and his co-workers to play soccer. Sadly, everyone got busy and they stopped playing soccer for a while. My parents and I tried to do boxing as a family activity, but we rarely had the time to go as our schedules did not coincide at the time. I started streaming myself playing video games on Twitch, which allowed me to meet some cool people and put myself out there for others to get to know me. Before Covid-19 was a thing, I joined TMCC’s international student community and now I am an International Peer Mentor for the Diversity and International Student Center and Office (DISCO).
My approach to my job
As a Peer Mentor, I will try to share all my experiences with new international students, allowing them a faster and easier adaptation to their environment. I will also give them my support in whichever way possible, so that they don’t need to go through all the hardships that I’ve gone through, or if they do, to help them understand that it’s part of the process, and it’s okay.
Ayavitl Acalli Gonzalez Navarro, who goes by Acalli, was born in Mexico and moved with his family to Singapore when he was 12. He is currently a student and International Peer Mentor at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.
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