Julie from South Korea decided to pursue a business degree at Auburn University in Alabama, ultimately choosing to major in marketing. She started her first-year studies through Auburn Global. Once she arrived, she discovered a passion for American football – and a new appreciation for electives that she wouldn’t have had access to back home.
A New Home at Auburn
“The reason I chose Auburn is that [it] is a really friendly and quiet place to study,” Julie said. “I like the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere here. For me, I’m always looking for a quiet academic environment that will help me concentrate on my academic achievements.”
Ranked #97 in National Universities and #56 in First-Year Experiences by U.S. News & World Report, Auburn University offers top-ranked degree programs in arts, business, education, STEM, and more. Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business – and its marketing department in particular – appealed to Julie. She especially appreciated the opportunity to take elective courses outside her degree.
“Compared to a Korean university, if I choose one department they are always studying about those specific subjects, but [at] Auburn University if I choose one department, they are going to teach me from other departments as well,” Julie said. “If I choose business marketing, they are not going to just teach me marketing, they are going to teach business and accounting, business analytics, [and] business law.”
Auburn’s well-rounded approach gives Julie confidence for her future career. “[Here], I can have more experiences and knowledge from the business department. It will help me a lot in my future because in a company they [will not] always require only [marketing knowledge], they are going to also require other [courses],” she said. “I will have flexibility to handle how to [perform] in this kind of situation.”
Campus Life at Auburn
Auburn is known worldwide for its close-knit and welcoming campus community, nicknamed the Auburn Family. There are more than 550 student-led academic, arts, cultural, service, and sports organizations across campus. Sports play a big role in bringing together people from different departments, countries, and cultures.
Julie always looks forward to Auburn’s American football season each fall.
“I really love the atmosphere here during football season because Auburn has many events to gather people up and to hang out together,” she said, “not only with friends, but with other Auburn students.”
Support Services at Auburn
Between Auburn Global’s support services (including academic advising, professional development services, English-language tutoring, and more) and Auburn’s Student Center (which features a writing help desk, library services, and free tutoring), international students have all the support they need to pursue their studies with confidence in the US.
Additionally, a lot of support comes from fellow students, said Julie. “If we have some kind of question, we can also ask each other and then if I teach [them], I am also learning.”
Julie’s Advice for International Students
Julie encourages international students to keep an open mind and remain positive throughout their university studies in the US, and to support and try to understand other students, even if there are language barriers.
Sometimes, Julie said, language barriers actually encourage international students to practice more.
For example, an ESL student might say, “‘Oh, her English skill is not very good’, but I can understand her, because I am also not really good at English,” she said. “With [that] kind of open mind, I think it was really easy to make friends and to have conversations.”
Finally, Julie encourages international students to take advantage of all the support services available.
“[Auburn Global] helps international students fit in [on] campus and have a better academic and personal [experience] [at] university,” Julie said. “Don’t worry! Auburn Global will help.”
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