Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Meet the IOAs!

The IOA (International Orientation Assistant) is a student volunteer that serves as a resource for our new international students in the summer before their arrival, and throughout International Orientation. They are all upperclassmen (either rising juniors or seniors) that are international students themselves, or have international experience as a international student in another country. Please take a moment to meet the 2014 IOAs!

  • Anh
  • Anh

    Vietnam, Class of 2016

    Weis College House

    Major: Double Major: Economics and Business Organizations & Society.  

    Activities / Sports / Jobs on Campus?   President of International Club, Treasurer of LGBTA Club, singer in the College Chorus, Writing Center tutor

    Favorite F&M class thus far:   Scientific Revolutions (my first Foundations course). The course work could seem like a lot for a first-semester freshman, but in no other classes would you learn so much about the religiousness of Descartes and Newton, the juicy details behind the Manhattan Project in WWII, or the history of vibrators. 

    A favorite F&M memory:   After my interview with the Writing Center, I kept waiting for the result to come in an email. One day when I got back to Weis from Dhall I saw the tutors in the Hiring Committee getting out of my house, and the next thing I knew they were running towards me, yelling "You got the job!!" and hugging me really tight. Turns out they were looking for me in my room to deliver the news. I really loved that personal touch :)

    Advice for new international students: Don't be afraid to ask if you are not sure about something - everyone here, and I mean everyone, is more than willing to help you. Take a class out of your comfort zone, like Scientific Revolutions. Classes may seem too much at first but manage your time well and you'll get some sleep. 

  • ayeba
  • Ayeba

    Ghana (born in the United Kingdom), Class of 2016

    Bonchek College House

    Major:    Computer Science (and maybe Philosophy)

    Campus Involvement:  On campus, I am involved in mostly sports e.g. club volleyball and intramural soccer (thinking about starting a ping pong club too). Also, I am a campus radio DJ on a weekend show and I do background crew for theatre shows.

    Favorite F&M class thus far: African Literature with Prof. Bernard was so much fun and I don't even like English! The prof was very exciting, which prompted witty and deep discussions and gave riveting topics to write on. Also, everyone talked in the class because he pressured everyone to form an opinion (in a good way of course!).

    A favorite F&M memory:   Open forum with President Porterfield. Over 50 types of ice cream for the school to enjoy while getting the chance to informally discuss campus life with our President. It was great way to unwind during an afternoon in the springtime!

    Advice for new international students:    This summer, take a chance and find out what is your best skill or attribute. I want to challenge you to bring that skill here on campus and get involved! Whether you write poetry, you model or you know every movie under the sun, make sure you know yourself!! Be bold!

  • cedric
  • Cedric

    Cameroon, Class of 2016

    Ware College House

    Major:    Economics

    Campus Involvement:  Basketball team

    Favorite F&M class thus far: Modern Europe II, taught by Professor Maria Mitchell. She is passionate about the subject matter and really cares about her students, she’s one of the best professors at F&M.

    A favorite F&M memory:   On of the first night of my freshman year, my hall mates and I walked on every floors of three of the five college houses, stopping at each open room to have a little chat with the people living there. I think about three quarter of the rooms had the door open. It was fun, and also a great way to make friends fast.

    Advice for new international students:    Go to as many events as possible at the start of the semester - it is a great way to meet people quickly. Get to know your peers, obviously meet the people who live with you in your hall and also who work with you in classes. Be prepared for some culture shock and seek support from professors, tutors, Hall Advisors (HA) and friends. They are there to help you!!!

  • chloe
  • Chenchen (Chloe)

    China, Class of 2016

    Ware College House

    Majors:    Art History and Economics double major

    Campus Involvement:  F&M Orchestra and Philharmonia. Work as a gallery attendant in Phillips Museum on-campus.

    Favorite F&M class thus far:    Foundation: What is the examined life? (Professor Copper): Covers a wide range of knowledge; the readings and class discussions were so much fun! 

    A favorite F&M memory:   The archaeology field school I am taking this summer in Italy with Dr. Meyers and four other F&M folks!  Even though it is not happening on the F&M campus, digging and hanging out with these folks has been awesome!

    Advice for new international students:    Open yourselves up and don’t be shy!

  • cinthia
  • Chuoran

    China, Class of 2015

    Ware College House

    Majors:   Biology and Psychology

    Campus Involvement:   Asian Cultural Society (President), International Club (Treasurer), Students for Education Reform (Social Media Chair), Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society (treasurer), Women's Center (Executive Board), and I worked for the Psychology Department for 3 years 

    Favorite F&M class thus far:  Modern Europe II: learning about World War II through primary, secondary literature and amazing novels

    A favorite F&M memory:   My favorite memory would be in Asian Cultural Society, having my favorite food (sushi) and gradually becoming mature through taking leadership positions. It is where I met my best friends and boyfriend too.

    Advice for new international students:    Embrace the difference of cultures, diversity of student groups, and even the embarrassment of talking to new friends or speaking in class. There will be a transition period for everyone to adjust to college life, let alone international student life, but you should trust yourself in overcoming any difficulties, homesickness and maybe sometimes helplessness. Don't be afraid of exploring and trying new things too!

  • emily
  • Emily

    Italy & USA (born in Genova, Italy), Class of 2015

    Bonchek College House

    Majors:    Joint Major: Italian and Theatre Studies

    Campus Involvement:  Theatre Department performances, F&M Quidditch, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Pep Band, African Drumming Ensemble, Dump n' Run Volunteer, Theatre Office worker and Roschel Performing Arts Center Assistant House Manager, Reunion Weekend Ambassador

    Favorite F&M class thus far:    Acting 1, because you actually learn a lot about yourself. This class is just one of many in which you take what you learn in the classroom and actually apply it to life. You learn about listening to your body, connecting with others and risk-taking. My classmates and I developed a strong bond through all the rehearsals and silly warm-up activities.

    A favorite F&M memory:   Just one!? I would say my first year at the Posse Plus Retreat. I was so happy to be invited as a "plus" to this weekend retreat without homework or technology. It was an opportunity to talk about important societal issues, but also really bond with each other. I learned that though we are diverse, we are stronger in a loving community.

    Advice for new international students:    F&M is special because of the bonds you make. Find some other classmates, a professor, a non-academic advisor/mentor and make connections! These people will guide you and they will support you! Also, go downtown, because there is more to do than meets the eye!

  • giang photo
  • Giang

    Vietnam, Class of 2016

    Brooks College House

    Major:    Psychology & Computer Science

    Campus Involvement:  Assistant in the International Admission Office, Math Tutor, Vice President of International Club

    Favorite F&M class thus far:  American Advertising showed me how advertisements could reflect certain aspects of our society and influence our decisions.

    A favorite F&M memory:   My freshman year at Brooks with the nicest hallmates I could ask for. Together we had fun hanging out, cooking, watching movies, sharing stories, and of course, harmlessly pranking each other.

    Advice for new international students:    Make use of your professors’ office hours;  Plan ahead to take advantage of funding opportunities from the school (both in and outside F&M) to do cool things;  Central Market is one of the best things Lancaster has to offer.  So is Carmen and David’s ice cream :)

  • bonbon
  • Hsiao-Wei

    Taiwan, Class of 2015

    Ware College House

    Major:    Business, Organizations & Society

    Campus Involvement:  Catastrophic Relief Alliance, Media Services Assistant

    Favorite F&M class thus far: On Human Nature because the professor was great at giving lectures.

    A favorite F&M memory:   I went with the club Catastrophic Relief Alliance to Bastrop, TX to build houses as part of a community service event. 

    Advice for new international students:    Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiences! Make sure to Skype/write your parents when you feel homesick.

  • minji
  • Minji

    South Korea, Class of 2015

    Bonchek College House

    Major:    Physics

    Campus Involvement:  Phi Sigma Pi, Math tutor, Interfaith Student Council, VITA tax preparer

    Favorite F&M class thus far: Modern Physics: It was mind-blowing to learn that classical physics fails to explain phenomena under extreme conditions and how Quantum Mechanics and Einsteinian relativity can deal with the smallest particles in nature. Also, Prof. Fritz rocks.

    A favorite F&M memory:   I have so many good F&M memories but International Student Orientation holds a special place in my heart because I made so many amazing friends during the orientation. 

    Advice for new international students:    Visit professors during their office hours! They will do their best to help you with class assignments, campus life, etc.

  • rabin
  • Rabin

    Nepal, Class of 2015

    Bonchek College House

    Major:    Economics & Math

    Campus Involvement:  VITA, ITS Help Desk Assistant

    Favorite F&M class thus far: Introduction to Film: Got to watch movies every week and discuss them in class; got new insights into film watching. 

    A favorite F&M memory:   Making momos for International Club and interacting with the diverse group of people.

    Advice for new international students:    Participate in the College Houses and club activities, build good relationships with your hall friends, and explore the social life on campus.  Introduce yourself to people and try to expand your friend circle. 

  • siyao
  • Siyao

    China, Class of 2015

    Brooks College House

    Majors:   Business, Organizations & Society and Math double major

    Campus Involvement:  College Center Information Desk, Volleyball Team score keeper

    Favorite F&M class thus far:   Buddhism: the professor knew a lot and was very interesting. We had discussion panels, watched videos and had a speaker (a monk) coming to class!

    A favorite F&M memory:   The school really encourages you to choose and do what you like. When I first entered the college, I didn’t know what major I would pick. But when you talk with people and choose as many classes in different fields, you understand yourself better and know where you want to go. F&M helps a lot with this!

    Advice for new international students:    Talk to people. Hallmates can be very helpful. It’s very important to make some new friends and have someone to help you. Don’t stay in the room by yourself, which makes you more homesick. Try to participate in various activities and clubs your first year and then pick the ones you like. 

  • william
  • Thant Zin (William)

    Myanmar, Class of 2016

    Bonchek College House

    Major:    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Campus Involvement:  Member of Students for Autism, Student assistant in International Admissions

    Favorite F&M class thus far: On Human Nature, I learned that human nature can be explained and discussed through various interdisciplinary perspectives. 

    A favorite F&M memory:   Teaching swimming to autistic children on Saturdays. 

    Advice for new international students:    Review lecture notes daily and go to professor's office hours for help. 

  • thu
  • Thu

    Vietnam, Class of 2016

    Bonchek College House

    Major:    Business, Organization & Society; minor in Applied Mathematics

    Campus Involvement:  F&M Business Club, Orchestra and Philharmonia.

    Favorite F&M class thus far: Strategies for Organizing (BOS200) has been my most favorite class so far. Most lectures were discussion-based, we got to do many case studies, and even had to do a complete real-world engagement at the end of the semester. Professor Stinchfield was extremely challenging, but also very helpful.

    A favorite F&M memory:   In one of my BOS class, we had to build a structure made of spaghetti with a marshmallow on the top in groups. It seemed so easy at first, and everyone was so competitive. At the end, only 3 out of 12 groups’ structures managed to sustain a marshmallow on the top. 

    Advice for new international students:    Remember that time flies so fast, (I can’t believe that I am a junior already!). Definitely be involved in lots of extracurricular activities such as clubs, or sport teams, orchestra or Greek organizations. I made tons of friends outside of the classroom.