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The UC Diversity Committee is engaged in ongoing work that increases the awareness and appreciation of diversity on campus and in society at large. This blog will represent international students each week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meet UC Internationals: Marika Mkheidze, Georgia

Marika ended up in Utica College after she participated in a global undergraduate exchange program back in Georgia, her native country located in Eurasia. She has enjoyed her stay so far, not only in Utica, but also in various cities throughout the U.S. She loves to travel and meet new people.

Life on campus has been interesting for Marika. "I have never lived on campus before," she said. "Therefore, i didn't know what to expect, or how the clusters, dining hall, and other facilities would look like." Marika has been occupying herself with studies, participating in founding a new club at UC, and getting acquainted with the cultural background of both international and American students.

According to Marika, there are many cultural differences between students here and in Georgia. The worldview of most students is something that differs very much from her Georgian peers. "It's been very interesting to see and learn about other approaches to different things," she said. "But at the same time, it's been quite challenging to adapt my understanding of certain things with the American way of thinking."

Another thing that she has noticed, is that most of the American students tend not to be that much interested in going oversees as people from other countries. However, Marika feels that she has made some really good friends here to whom she has been able to teach many new things of her world back home.

Marika in Strebel Lounge
Did you ever think about studying abroad?? Leave a comment!
                                                                                                                                   Written by Nora

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meet UC Internationals: Amina Kussainova, Kazakhstan

Although everything is different from what she was used to, studying in the USA has not been very difficult for Amina Kussainova, an exchange student from Republic of Kazakhstan.

Currently, Amina is studying international relations at Utica College. She is also an active member of some of UC clubs and organizations.
Last semester Amina participated in several events organized by UC Circle K and did community service with some other members. Recently, she also joined Utica College Art Club and is looking forward to participating in their upcoming events.

From the day one, when she found out she was going to study abroad, in the US, Amina has been very excited about it. And now, when she is almost done with her studies and will be getting ready  to go home in May, Amina says, "I have gained a lot of experience of communicating with different students from different countries all over the world, and have become friends with pretty much all of them. I have learned so  much about different cultures and mentalities."

Besides enjoying her time in the US and studying, Amina has been coming up with some plans to work on when she goes back to Kazakhstan.
Amina wants to work on something like the UC Circle K. Also, she wants to organize 
holiday celebrations, such as International Students' Day,in her home university. Studying at Utica College and being a part of International Students' Club have made Amina curious about international student studying at her own  university back home. 

Do you think you know a lot of internationals who study at your college? Feel free to share your experience in comments!

                                                                                                             Written by: Meline

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meet UC Internationals: Abdullah Al Robian, Saudi Arabia

Since he was a child, Abdullah wanted to study in the U.S. Finally, when the opportunity came by, he took the rains and made it happen. Today, he couldn’t be happier about it!

This is Abdullah’s third year in the States, and he is enjoying every moment of it. However, it hasn’t been easy all the time. “I think it’s the culture and the lifestyle that are totally different here and in Saudi Arabia,” he said. The most difficult thing for him has been to discover himself and to define his identity in the new environment. He also feels that representing his country is important.

Abdullah has done a great job adjusting to the American culture, and he has made some really good friends here. Even though the school keeps him quite busy, Abdullah enjoys spending time, doing sports and socializing with his friends. After graduating from UC, Abdullah is planning to go back to Saudi Arabia, and start work within the media. As a sports fan, the sports field might also be an option.

Study Abroad!

In Abdullah’s opinion, the best things about UC are the qualified professors and the educational system that the college uses. When asked about something he wanted to share with everyone, he said, “Study abroad is the best experience anyone can have. You can eat different food, meet new and interesting people and have fun!” This might require some courage, but is definitely worth doing! 

Would you be ready to take the challenge and study abroad? Where would you go? 
                                                                                                                               Written by Nora

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meet UC Internationals: Fatima Tuz Zahra, Pakistan

Fatima Tuz Zahra is an exchange student from Pakistan studying at Utica College.
Fatima arrived in Utica in January and since then has been actively involved in UC student life. She is going to stay on campus for only one semester, but she is determined to learn as many things as she can and make as many friends as possible.
Fatima, second from left, with her UC friends
Fatima is studying biology at Utica College.  What she likes the most about studying here at UC is the educational system which, according to her, is totally different from the one in Pakistan. Also Fatima is surprised about how students call their professors in the U.S., “We don’t call our professors by their names as a sign of respect but over here it is vice versa,” she states.
UC is very diverse. One can come across students from almost all over the world every day. Being an international student herself, Fatima is very happy and excited about the fact that there are many other internationals on campus, as she can make more friends with people from many different countries.
Of course, being away from home for such a long time and studying in a foreign country make changes in one’s personality and character, give skills that nothing else can ever give. For Fatima the greatest challenge has so far been the responsibility factor.  Studying abroad has made Fatima a more responsible person.

What kinds of thoughts does this post raise in you? Feel free to comment!

Written by Meline

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Meet UC Internationals: Tuuli Vanhanen, Finland

Tuuli is a 19-year-old international student from Finland's capital city Helsinki. After graduating from the upper secondary school, she applied to UC to earn her bachelor's degree in International Studies. Tuuli wanted to have a special experience, which is why she wanted to come to the U.S. She also plays on the UC women's soccer team.

Experiences at UC so far 

"It's been wonderful, since I've seen so many things here," Tuuli says. She has learned a lot about the American culture, people and college life, as well as traveled to different places and the biggest cities around Utica. "It has really opened my eyes," she says. Tuuli has also made some really good friends here, and improved her English skills.

The living environment differs a lot from her home country. According to Tuuli, here are four things that she misses the most:
·         Speaking her own language and understanding everything.
·         Her family and how they take care of everything.
·         Food!
·         City life.
"I've met some amazing people, both international and American, who have made my stay here amazing. We have the best international student advisers who are always there for us. Even if UC is small for me, it's a great place to spend a few years of my life!"

What kinds of thoughts does this post raise in you? Feel free to comment!

                                                                                                              Written by: Nora

Thursday, February 23, 2012

History of the Utica College Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee was established as the “Multicultural Program Committee” in 1990. After a series of incidents at Utica College, other local colleges, and in the Utica community drew attention to the divisions that still existed between members of our community based on race and ethnicity, Utica College spearheaded the first Unity March in 1989.
The initial Unity March was sponsored by the Black Student Union as an expression of racial unity, with the intention of bringing together members of the Utica College community to proactively address issues of race and ethnicity on campus and in our community. Members of local colleges, including SUNY Morrisville, Colgate University, Hamilton College, MVCC, and SUNY Tech participate as well.
One of the outcomes of the many discussions that occurred that year was the establishment of the “Multicultural Program Committee” in 1990. In 1991, the “Program” part of the Committee name was dropped, and it became the Multicultural Committee and an integral part of the governance system at Utica College. The focus of the committee also broadened to include issues of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, etc. The name of the committee was changed to the Diversity Committee, and it continues as a College committee with membership that includes faculty, staff, and students across disciplines and offices.