Life at FIU

Why Global First Year was the best fit for me – G1Y Student Voice

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Global First Year at FIU is such a great program for international students from all over the world. It is a program especially for international students’ first year to help them with every step at the university. However, even though the Global First Year program succeeds in providing understanding professors, many activities and clubs, and helpful study tools for students, it can improve by strengthening its communication with students.

First, in my opinion, it is necessary to choose professors who impart knowledge well to students. At FIU, all professors have wide knowledge and also a professional way to connect with students. A good professor is not only good at teaching but also at understanding students. Professors here always care about what their students need. For example, it is easy to have an appointment with a professor to discuss a concern. Students at FIU can easily find good solutions for their problems because we also have advisors. Other students also think it is easy to find a professor and ask for advice anytime they want; it is the most helpful feature that this program has. Professors from many schools just go to class and teach what they have done for years, but in this program I feel that I was provided real, caring and professional teachers. They respect and understand student culture and language, and that is the reason why the relationship between students and teachers here is strong. I have a really good math professor. He is a patient and mindful teacher; whenever students need him, he is there for us. He makes me feel like he is doing his job with love and passion. Moreover, I was so impressed and motivated by my public speaking teacher: Every morning I came to class and I heard a funny story. Sometimes it was not that funny, but it showed me how hard he tried to motivate and communicate with students, which makes me appreciate him a lot.

Second, Global First Year also provides students with many kinds of clubs and trips that are really helpful for allowing students to connect with each other. Students here are from all over the world and have different cultures and languages, so having many clubs can help to connect students easier. Also, for first year students, joining in clubs and trips makes them more active. Many students think it is a good point in this program, because they have experienced it and become friends with others quicker than usual. We are always felt shy at first, but when we get into activities and have fun together, it makes our friendships more close. Therefore, it is a benefit for students who are from all different countries in the world. For example, our trip to Disneyland was a big chance for me to make friends with many others. This program gives a discount for students who cannot afford a lot of money to go to Orlando and have fun with friends. I felt so happy to have a chance to spend time with my best friends; we would never have had a chance to do it if the school had not provided it. We went on a trip without being worried about anything. The school provided food for free for the whole trip. After all of that, I felt how meaningful this trip was for me.

*Pictured above – Natalie with current FIU President Mark Rosenberg

Last but not least, the education that is given to first year students is not only helpful for us but also interesting. As many students have said, we are in a program which provide us many skills and experiences that we need before becoming FIU students officially. You will be interested in the program because it provides you with many useful tools so you can explore more than you think; it is not just in the book. You will be able to explore a lot with professors or tutoring. Therefore, even though I am a first-year student, I don’t feel like I am struggling or bored with any classes because I can reach out to my tutors. It also provides students directly what we need to learn for our major and also gives students a chance. I see how time-saving and useful this program is for me and other students.

However, this program as with anything, has room for improvement.  Global First Year could further develop better communication with students, such as having more appointments and conversations with students who live on and off campus. For students, it is easy to find a professor and talk, but it is not as easy to talk about problems in daily life, like health problems. We have a health center on campus, but it will be easier in the future if we have some specific health advisors. For example, when I got allergies, it was difficult to find someone that I could share with. I told my Resident Assistant in my dorm and she called 911, which I think was the best thing at the time. Students who do not live on campus also should be taken care of, because they might miss many fun things which students living on campus are doing. Also, as a student who is living on campus, I would recommend living on campus housing and enjoy campus life. The FIU program should continue to strive to help students be more connected and make it easier to reach out with any campus issues.

In conclusion, the Global First Year program is the best fit for most international students, and it still could be improved. This program is such a great one that I will recommend it for all international students!

Guest Written by G1Y Freshman

Natalie from Vietnam

Hospitality Administration/Management Major 

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