Shaquelle Smith has been with the American Language and Culture Institute as a student assistant since April 2015. She is an international student studying at Cal State San Marcos and provides excellent support in our office. If you have time to talk to Shaquelle about her experience at the university and in the United States, we highly recommend you do. Here is a little interview to get you acquainted:
Where were you born? Where is your home country?
I was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I grew up in Krimpen aan den IJssel.
What are you studying and why?
I am studying global studies. I like learning about people’s culture and language. I chose this major because I am very interested in culture and in globalization. Global Studies is an interdisciplinary major and gives me the opportunity to discover various subjects.
What has been your biggest challenge as an international student?
Leaving my home country behind and starting over again. I came to America by myself without knowing anyone. I learned English in school before, but going to America gave me the first opportunity to speak English. I learned a lot from living on my own and to study far from home in a second language.
Are you part of any CSUSM student organizations?
Yes I am currently the vice-president of the Global Studies club, and a member of global connections.
If you could pick one thing to take back to your home country from the United States, what would it be?
The mountains. I love seeing the view of mountains every day.
What are you looking forward to the most this semester?
Meeting more people and of course graduation.
What do you do for fun when you have time off from studying?
I enjoy going to the beach, or touring through California.
Have you visited any other US states? Which ones?
I have visited New York. I spent three days visiting and sightseeing New York City.
Can you juggle?
Unfortunately I cannot. Maybe a goal for this year 🙂
Any advice for ALCI students?
Don’t be afraid. Try new things and try getting as much out of your comfort zone. The step you already made to decide to study abroad is a huge deal and already a big step. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff and to meet new people. Be open for change because studying abroad will change you and when you go back you will notice the personal development you have made. Get out as much as you can from this opportunity.
Thank you for interviewing with me, Shaquelle!
By Sylvia Harrington