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Yuntuo Wang Provides International Student Perspective

Posted by Pengxeu Thao '15, Roseville on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Yuntuo Wang (Tracy) ’17, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, is one of the University of Minnesota, Morris’s 176 international students. After spending five months in Morris, Wang is settling into campus life and examining the interactions between international and domestic students.

After completing a year of study at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), Wang first came to experience Morris by participating in the Summer Transition for English Language and Liberal Arts Readiness (STELLAR) program during the summer of 2013. The program allowed him and his peers to adjust to the campus, learn about American customs, and have fun weekend adventures throughout Morris, Duluth, and the Mall of America. This period of exposure and familiarization allowed Wang to carry resources and experiences from the summer into the school year.

Not long into his first semester, Wang became a part of the intimate atmosphere provided by Morris’s small classes. While the changes in scenery between China and Morris became immediately apparent, they also provided a welcome change of pace.

“In China, the classes were much larger,” he says. “Here, you get more chances to participate, speak, and have opportunities to work with your professor.”

Wang’s responsibility as a student is ingrained into his everyday habits. On most days, his studies and homework occupy most of his time. However, Wang still finds opportunities to interact with the campus community and channel his hobbies and interests into otherwise busy school days.

“I enjoy spending time watching movies and playing video games back at the dorm, and I also like keeping up with the NBA,” says Wang. “I also love to exercise, work out, and play basketball in the Regional Fitness Center (RFC). We even go to some of the school dances.”

Wang stresses the importance of having domestic and international students create connections. He cites language barriers and cultural differences as two key factors sitting between the two student demographics. He also believes that bridging this gap will be a rewarding experience for all students across cultures.

“Sometimes, international students have problems building new relationships,” he says. “I think it is a useful skill for international students to make American friends and for American students to make international friends.”

More information and resources for international students can be found online.