Life of an International Student at GVSU


Life of an International Student at GVSU

By Alexia Mangala

I am an international student form the Democratic Republic of Congo. I have been living in the States of Michigan for 4 years. I am a French native speaker. I am a senior and my purpose is to earn a bachelor degree in Human Resources Management.

I started Grand Valley State University spring/summer semester of 2010, and since then it has been an experience full of unforgettable memories. When I started school, I did not know what to expect from going to school in the U.S. However, I quickly realized that GVSU was different than what I envisioned in my head.

My first memory at GVSU was meeting all the international students from all over the world. I did not have the chance to do the orientation, but I did have the chance to meet everybody. From that moment on, it became easier because I felt like I was not alone anymore. There were other people that were sharing the same experience as me.

After a few months at GVSU, I started learning more about different organizations on campus, so I could get involved with the ones I was interested in. The first organization I joined on campus was the African Student Council (ASC), and I have been part of this group since. I am grateful to be part of this organization because I have met some wonderful people with whom I have shared some memorable times.

It was not always easy, but the fact that GVSU has so many different student organizations makes it easier to meet people. As I stated earlier, I am an international student, and I am part of the International Student organization as well. Through ISO I have had the opportunity to present food for my country during the first international student food showcase.

By being involved with those organizations, I have met many people and I have contributed to different volunteer opportunities. Being able to make a difference in people’s life is a great and do something for the community is such a great opportunity.

After 3 years of being here, I can’t believe that it is almost the end already. For me, the time that I have had here at GVSU will be engraved in my memory forever. All the different experiences I have had outside and inside the class have helped me become the person I am. The beginning was difficult, but I made my way through, and it has been such an enjoyable process. I know that there are many other student that can relate to my experience as an international student, and I encourage people to study abroad. It is such a rewarding experience because it allows people to see the world differently, and to learn more about other cultures.

I am glad I have had this experience, and I will forever be a Laker.

Page last modified October 29, 2014