What international students did over spring break

LIZ ANASTASIADIS & JAEEUN LEE — Spring break doesn’t always mean that everyone can make it home to family.

According to Marilyn Andrew, Director of International Student Services, 16 percent of Denison students are international. That comes with several different factors, such as the inaccessibility of family and friends. This can make the already difficult transition into college life and United States culture exceedingly difficult. Denison’s International Student Services (ISS) office compensates for this with various events, resources and activities to ease this transition.

Over the break, Denison provided a list of different activities for those who didn’t have the luxury of leaving campus over the course of the week.

Here is a variety of international students sharing their stories from their spring break experiences:

Ha Le ‘21, an education major from Hanoi, Vietnam:

“I was on campus the whole break. I went to Granville Kindergarten almost every day during the week for an Education course that requires Curricular Service Learning. So it’s kind of conflicting with some activities offered on campus, but I tried to go to some. It was very nice that Denison’s ISS office organized several shopping trips for students to go to Saraga international market, Cross Creek or Easton [Town Center in Columbus]. I’m glad I could catch up with my friends through these trips; we had such a relaxing time even just window shopping. I believe there was a boot-camp for international students by the Knowlton Center, Chinese cuisine lunch for all students who stayed on campus, open gym and other fun stuff. But at the same time, I think spring break is a good time for me to catch up with what I normally can’t get around to do, especially getting more-than-enough rest and cooking for myself.”

Mandy Hong ‘22, from Seoul, South Korea:

Mandy was excited to step forward onto new territory — she visited Orlando, FL for the first time. During her break, she vlogged on her YouTube channel to document her experience.

“I went to Florida during this spring break and just got back from my trip. As an international student, it was hard for me to go back to my home when break is so short. So some of my Korean friends and I decided to go to Florida, Miami and it was AWESOME!

Ohio is still cold and it snowed last week so I really wanted warm, spring-like weather and weather in Florida was perfect (except the first day because it rained). I really want to visit Florida again. I am going to upload vlog about my spring break but I couldn’t wait to share some of my memories from Florida so I brought this short video! (I always wanted to make some video like this. One of my favorite music videos was just like this so I wanted to make something like that video too). I hope you guys enjoy watching this video.”

JaeEun Lee ‘22 a biochemistry major from Ilsan, South Korea:

“I stayed on campus over spring break, which I had mixed feelings about. I could solely have my own free time with no distraction. The campus, especially Shorney, was peaceful and nice. But two days after my roommates and friends left the campus, I began to feel depressed and look for friends who stayed on campus as I did. I attended different activities ISS offered to international students– lunch with President Weinberg and his wife Anne at Monomoy, attending Career Ready Boot Camp in Knowlton center, and going shopping at Easton. International students in Granville have limitations to travel metropolitan cities and to visit tourist attractions. But there are numerous hidden spots have not been explored by international students in Granville! I went to Goumas Confections, chocolate shop down the hill next to CVS, and popcorn shop next to the store. Tasting different flavors of sweets and popcorns, I found the true healing in Granville.”

Minh Huyen Nguyen ‘19 a biochemistry & data analytics double major from Hanoi, Vietnam:

“During the last 3 years, I spent most of my time on campus during Spring break, working, hanging out with friends, and taking short-trips to Columbus. During this break, I worked at the library most of the time, and I also volunteered as a driver for the ISS’s shopping trips, helping international students get off of campus for shopping malls or grocery shopping.  Being international students, you might not have a chance to travel easily as local students. But, I still enjoy the time for break during the semester, more time to take care of myself and “recover” from the fast-paced workload in classes. It also allowed me to prepare the plan for the summer, FYI, Knowlton Center opens during break and this is usually the time that I can make the most of time to move forward with my plan.”