Yi Wang, student services director at Auburn Global, has been a part of the Shorelight family since Fall 2016. Once an international student herself, Yi brings a wealth of experience to her role supporting international students navigating life in the US and pursuing their career goals.
Read on to learn more about Yi’s journey at Auburn University and how she helps international students achieve their dreams!
Auburn University: A Second Home for International Students
Auburn University in Alabama, ranked #93 in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, offers high-ranked degrees in business, economics, STEM, and more. Beyond stellar academics and a welcoming campus culture, Yi believes Auburn offers a great quality of life: the region is diverse, outdoorsy, and charming.
“For international students, finding a second home is sometimes difficult. Before I moved to Auburn, I lived in different cities in the US and I just couldn’t really find that sense of belonging and make that connection to stay in that city,” she said.
Auburn was different.
“Since I moved to Auburn with my family, it somehow balanced out,” she said. “My husband, my kids, and my mom and dad … My parents love it [here] because it has international cuisines and [access to] things they need [for] their lifestyle. Even though they do not speak much English, they still feel comfortable over here.”
Although students won’t be arriving with their families, Auburn’s amazing culture creates a second family. On campus, students have access to more than 550 student-led clubs and organizations, including cultural clubs, fine arts associations, sports clubs, and more. By getting involved, international students can make new friends, learn about different cultures, and feel part of the close-knit student community.
“You find [that] everything falls into place,” Yi said. “You find that sense of belonging and everybody in the family finds their place and their comfort zone here.”
International Student Support Services at Auburn Global
Students are welcomed to Auburn University with a detailed orientation designed to provide a complete overview of academics, extracurriculars, and living facilities available on campus. Yi highlighted how the program is built with an experienced team who have a wealth of international education experience — either as international students themselves or having lived and worked overseas.
“From our own experience, we understand where they are coming from,” she said. “We have gone through all the things that they have gone through so we can actually put ourselves in their shoes at that time and really [help them] cope with wherever they are at in their journey.”
Yi is passionate about supporting the individual needs of each student, highlighting the extensive campus resources that can address any issue. Auburn Global’s strong connections with the International Student and Scholar Services office can cover any visa-related questions students may have, the medical clinic offers emergency first aid, the psychological and counseling office gives students a safe space to talk about the challenges that come with culture shock, and more.
“You see students as individuals and you [are] really trying to get to know them to find what they need the most,” Yi said.
Yi’s Advice for International Students
Yi encourages international students to work closely with the advisory team to plan out their academic journey at Auburn University. By discussing their strengths, identifying relevant courses, and pursuing career development opportunities, students can identify their long-term goals and create actionable paths to achieve them.
“Make a decision and see your goals through, and do not be afraid of trial and error,” she said. “Do not be afraid of asking questions and do not underestimate yourself. Do your best, [and] you will always improve.”
Interacting with students, working with them to overcome their challenges, and guiding them toward their career goals is the most important focus of the Auburn Global team. She encourages students to reach out and make the most of the support provided.
“We have people here to support you to get there. Whatever you are worried about, reach out, we will be there to help you through and see the end goal with you,” she said. “Whatever comes your way, be strong, you can do it!”
Discover Auburn University >