Walking through the gates of her previous school, Anhui Normal University in 2016, Leqi Mei, a Chinese student known as Mabel, had only dreamed of coming to America. Little did she know that the opportunity would arise in 2018. “I came to Brenau University through the 2+2 program,” she said. Mabel, 21, an English Literature major and Mass Communications minor is one of the many seniors who will be graduating in May.
When Mabel completes her bachelors degree she dreams of going to graduate school to further her studies in Mass Communications. “I hope to either study New Media Management or Digital Communication and Culture,” she said.
After being in America for almost two years now, living in the Gainesville campus has grown on her. She has come to like certain things like living in the dorms. “The dorms are more spacious and very close to my friends,” she said. Another thing she really enjoyed having was a flexible class schedule. “In China the school chooses our classes, so I really appreciate this American system,” she said.
According to Mabel, not only are the dorm rooms a lot more spacious but the Georgia residents are a lot more friendly and welcoming than that of the people in China. “We do not greet people in the street, unless we know them,” she said.
She has also taken a liking to ramen noodles, the typical college student fast and easy meal, and skittles for snacks. If there is one thing she does not like about college life in America compared to China is the homework. “I do not like the homework! In China we do not have homework,” she said. But one thing she did enjoy was watching movies with her friends both international and American. “We got to share some aspect of our cultures by watching movies from our different countries,” Mabel said.
Being an international student is not easy, especially in a country that you have never been to before. Language can be a big barrier and having no easy means of transport can soon become a big problem as the students can easily become tired of being on campus 24/7. But that has not stopped Mabel who loves to travel and is not afraid to take the risks that comes with navigating around a country by yourself. “I love Miami. The beach and sun are good for relaxing and we made our own food every day. That place makes me happy.” she said.
Coming to America, for this Senior student, was a dream that was achieved through the 2+2 program that Brenau offers in partnership with Anhui Normal University. Here in Gainesville, Georgia not only is she receiving an education in English Literature and Mass Communications, but, she is also managing to learn a new culture – the American Culture.