Life in DuBois is a 'walk in the park' for Chinese student

August 24, 2009

As she waits for a meeting to begin, Angela Hu demonstrates a fluency in English and exemplary text messaging skills that paint a picture of the typical American teenager. But, in reality, Hu had only been in the United States for three days when she sat down to talk about the journey that lies ahead of her as an international student at Penn State DuBois. Her home in Beijing, China is a world away from the campus office she now sits in with International Student Services Coordinator Tharren Thompson.

"It's so different here, Beijing is so big," Hu said, as she described the towering buildings and bustle of the city. The transition to a more rural landscape, however, is one the 18-year-old can appreciate. "Everything is so beautiful here. Everywhere you look it's like a park," she said. "I love everything here, and I like that the campus is not as big as University Park."

Hu said the people who have welcomed her here also run at a different pace. "In Beijing everyone is in a hurry. They're too busy to say hi. People are so friendly here, and everyone stops to greet you."

Though life in DuBois will mean some adjustments, Hu said it is well worth it to achieve her goal of obtaining a Penn State degree. That, she said, is exactly what brought her to the United States. While trying to choose which university she wanted to attend, Hu attended a Penn State admissions fair held in Beijing. She talked to students there, who immediately impressed her with their personal testimonies.

"They were so proud of being a Penn State student, and I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that."

Students like Hu are, in fact, becoming a larger part of the student population at Penn State DuBois, and Penn State in general. Thompson said the resulting diversity will benefit all students by introducing them to new cultures. "The campus has a common vision for international programs. It's been great to see one of the long-term goals of the campus start to be realized."

As more international students enroll here, Thompson will make sure the transition to life in DuBois is an easy one. Since Hu touched down in America, Thompson has helped her to adjust. He picked her up at the airport, helped her to find housing and to open a bank account, taken her to the grocery store and helped her to sign up for new cell phone service.

  • Penn State DuBois student Angela Hu, from Beijing, China, and International Student Services Coordinator Tharren Thompson.

    IMAGE: Steve Harmic

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010