The International office in Greenville has a new international faculty member: a Graduate Assistant named Anran Wang. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Higher Education major at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Every Thursday night, she drives to SIUE to study for five hours and comes back to Greenville to help us. It was SIUE who assigned her to GU as a teaching assistant in the international office. At GU, she is mainly responsible for recruitment and services in the international office. In terms of enrollment, she wants to find more independent and innovative students for Greenville. She thinks such students can bring more vitality and a different prspective to our school. She also puts a lot of emphasis on the service side, which means solving problems, providing resources, and organizing events for Asian students, such as organizing a monthly shopping event in St. Louis, which is a huge convenience for international students who don’t have a car.
In her vision, she wants to create an International Student Union at GU, rather than the current phenomenon of Chinese students in a small group, Vietnamese students in a small group, and so on with different nationalities. She wants to unite international students through some activities and conferences to understand each other’s culture and accept each other, to be active on campus as a whole. In addition, she wants to immerse international students in local culture. She will do her best to bridge cultural barriers between international and American students. In that connection, she also calls on everyone to actively contribute their views and ideas to the International Office to bring more effective services and come up with interesting activities.
In Anran’s eyes, Greenville is a very peaceful place. Here, students can really calm down, not be disturbed by the outside world, and put their minds on their studies. Actually, Anran came to the United States to study ten years ago, so she has been to various prosperous big cities. In contrast, a small city like Greenville brought her a kind of spiritual comfort. She said, “Wandering around the town in my free time, looking at the blue sky and the squirrels bouncing around, is the peace I never thought of before.”
Of course, living in a small town also has inconvenient aspects, such as transportation and entertainment. Going out to buy things is a big deal for Anran, and it takes a lot of time and energy each time; it would be better if she could save that time for reading books and doing homework. Meanwhile, when she’s exhausted from learning, the only thing she can do is watch videos in her room. Even though right now it’s a little bit harder because of the pandemic, it would be great if there were places to sing and dance. All in all, although Anran has just come to this school, she already has many specific expectations for her future work, the most important of which is the weekly international conference. In this conference, Anran will not only provide a lot of entertainment projects or games, such as UNO, Halli Galli, Mahjong, etc. but also talk about many tips that she compiled useful for college students’ current studies and even future work. Let us look forward to the changes that this new energy integrated into GU can bring us!