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International News | December 10, 2018

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Diverse Global Regions: One Thing in Common

Diverse Global Regions: One Thing in Common

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| On 15, May 2014

Graduating Class of International Students Appreciate University Experience

At this year’s International Student Spring 2014 Graduation Celebration, hosted by International Student and Scholar Services, Office of International Affairs, 175 international students met to share their successes and excitement as they prepared for spring graduation. The festivities took place in the Tivoli building on the University of Colorado Denver downtown campus.

Three outstanding students, whose grade point average ranged from 3.7+ to 3.9+, hailed from diverse global regions. But they all spoke about one thing they had in common – how much they had enjoyed their educational experience at the University of Colorado Denver.

 

Surendra Singh

surendra_singh_croppedPhD, Molecular Toxicology
Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Colorado Denver.

 

Why did you want to enroll in the University of Colorado Denver?

I liked the research that was being done in the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, especially in the toxicology program. Also, I had heard good things about the university and city of Denver.

 

What degree program will (are) you pursue at the University of Colorado Denver? What interests you about this subject area? 

I have just completed my PhD in molecular toxicology. I wanted to work on the carcinogenesis and cancer biomarkers and came to know about the project on colon cancer in Dr. Vasilis Vasiliou’s lab; so I decided to join his lab for graduate research work.

 

How did you hear about the University of Colorado Denver?

I looked for different universities at the website usnews.com and sorted out several universities. I had a friend, Gaurav in this school; he highly recommended this program and motivated me to apply here. Also I did some research on different projects, professors and their research interests before applying.

 

What advantages are you finding in receiving an education in an urban American environment?

This is a well-known fact that the United States is a leader in the life science research area and has the best infrastructure available to conduct high quality research work. It was a great experience for me to work at one of the most reputed cancer research center in the world.

 

Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?

When I said it was great experience to work here, it did not mean only because of the research work. I also got a chance to work with people from different countries and learned a lot about their cultures. In our lab, we had people from Greece, Germany, Japan, China, India and of course, the U.S.A. I don’t think you will find such diversity at any other place on this planet.

 

Describe your most memorable learning experience.

It’s very difficult to single out one from tons of memorable experiences, but here I learned to work with so many collaborators and loved it. I would say this was most significant learning experience for me.

 

While you have been earning your degree, what has been one of the biggest challenges and why?

Our school has very nice and helpful faculty members who were always ready to help with any problem; they made learning an enjoyable experience.

 

What cultural events and recreation do you enjoy in Denver and in Colorado?

Colorado is known for the Rocky Mountains and its associated outdoor activities. I always loved driving to the mountains, especially Breckenridge, for the snow sculpture championship and Aspen for the fall colors. I am a vegetarian but still went for fishing with friends for fun; also for skiing, I am not exactly a skier but still tried my hand at it and it is always great to watch people doing death-defying stunts.

 

What do your friends and family think about your studying in America—do you think they are proud of your accomplishments?

I think they are really proud of it and always want to hear about my experience.

 

Following graduation, what would be your “dream job”?

I want to become a diagnostic veterinary pathologist and to fulfill my dream. I have accepted a position as a resident in veterinary anatomic pathology at Wake Forest University.

 

What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at the University of Colorado Denver and in the U.S.?

I would say you won’t find a better place to study; great university, nice people and awesome place – so go for it!

Yang Zhou


yang_zhou_croppedMaster of Engineering, Civil Engineering
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Denver.

 

Why did you want to enroll in enroll in the University of Colorado Denver?

I came here to CU Denver with an agreement called a “3+1+1” between two universities, University of Colorado Denver and Northeast Forestry University. This agreement allows a student to finish the first three years of the undergraduate program in Northeast Forestry University and the fourth year of the undergraduate program in CU Denver. Then the fifth year should also be finished in CU Denver to earn a master’s degree.

 

What degree program will (are) you pursue at the University of Colorado Denver? What interests you about this subject area?

Right now, I am finishing my last semester for my MS degree in civil engineering, structure emphasis. I have received the admission from CU Denver and I will continue my Ph.D. study in the Fall 2014 semester.

 

How did you hear about the University of Colorado Denver? 

The first time I heard about the university was from the 3+1+1 agreement.

 

What advantages are you finding in receiving an education in an urban American environment?

There are many opportunities to find a major-related internship. In this way, the theory that is learned from the class can be applied to the practical work; to make more “tool” in your academic “tool box”. My major is civil engineering, structural emphasis. There is a lot of new construction going on in the Denver metropolitan area. Study in a related environment is good for understanding and for coming up with practical questions.

 

Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?

The viewpoints of a same thing are different from country to country. In order to understand a topic thoroughly and become creative, to study and look at things from different viewpoints is very important.

 

Describe your most memorable learning experience. 

The most memorable learning experience here in CU Denver has been the independent study I did during last semester. Independent study is actually a type of research. I needed to find the problem, complete the literature review, design the experimental tests, analyze results, and write the final report. All of the procedures were done by myself. When I met problems, I needed to find the right resources, turn to the right person to figure out the answer. This is a really good learning experience for future research. When I finished the final report and got approved by my advisor, Professor Rens, I felt so happy and so satisfied about the whole learning process.

 

While you have been earning your degree, what has been one of the biggest challenges and why?

The biggest challenge for me is to master the English and take the initiative.At first, my English was not good enough to understand everything that was being taught in the class, probably only 40 to 50%. As a result of it, I had a lot questions, but I didn’t dare to ask since I was afraid of talking with professors by using English. I realized this is a severe problem and spent a lot of time to overcome this problem.

There was a professor whose name is Rui Liu. I was chosen as his RA (research assistant) to work on a project from the Colorado Department of Transportation. He made me have a regular meeting with him every week to present what I had learned. That was a good practice. After that semester, my English was much improved. It was still not very good, but at least I dared to express myself.

During the following semester, I chose independent study and worked with my advisor closely. I decided to meet my advisor weekly and present my weekly work like before. At the same time, I got an intern opportunity in City and County of Denver and worked with many good guys together. Since then, I have really overcome the “don’t dare ask” problem and have became confident with communicating in English.

 

What cultural events and recreation do you enjoy in Denver and in Colorado?

I know a friendly family here, Matthew and Elisha; they are so nice to me and celebrate all kinds of American cultural events with all of us together (including many holidays). I still remember the first Christmas I had here. They came to my apartment the day before, bringing all the decorations and decorating my place from inside to outside. We were chatting with each other, playing board games, singing together, etc. It was really a good time with them. I love them.

 

What do your friends and family think about your studying in America—do you think they are proud of your accomplishments?

Yes I believe my parents are proud of my accomplishments. They have already come here to Denver and will join my graduation ceremony. I feel so happy.

 

Following graduation, what would be your “dream job”?

For now, I would like to chase my PhD degree in the U.S. after I receive my master’s degree at CU Denver. For the future, I would like to be a structural engineer, and teach.

What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at the University of Colorado Denver and in the U.S.?

Do not be shy – try to take the initiative and get involved in American culture and life.

Constanze Angelica Arenz-Kulkarni

constanze_kulkarni_croppedMaster of Urban Design
College of Architecture and Planning
University of Colorado Denver

 

Why did you want to enroll at CU Denver?

My husband was transferred to Colorado, it was a chance to make a new start.

 

What degree program are you pursuing at the University of Colorado Denver? What interests you about this subject area?

My program is the Master of Urban Design, a one year program – it was just what I needed: it was fast and required professional experience and looked really interesting; I was happy to have the opportunity.  I already had a degree in Germany in architecture; but worked in the urban design field there – this was an opportunity to get the degree in the field in which I worked for several years.

 

What advantages are you finding in receiving an education in an urban American environment?

Universities in the United States are quite different than in Germany; interactions with professors is very different, with a strong focus on participation and interaction. It is really nice because you get immediate feedback and have someone you can talk to. It was also an opportunity to enhance my language skills.

The campus here is very nice;  it’s right downtown and in the center of Denver. You can go out after classes and enjoy the urban atmosphere; you can experience what a real American city is like.

The weather here is so great. Denver is also a young city and still developing, so that’s really interesting; and they try to preserve what they have from the past, like Union Station, and enhance it, and combine the new and the old.

Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?

In general, related to global education, the world is becoming more and more global; my husband is from India, I am from Germany, and now our daughter is American – we have three continents in one family!

While I was here I also had the opportunity to go to China as part of the university’s study abroad program (Nanjing International Studio; based in Beijing and Nanjing, this 6-credit design graduate-level urban design studio focuses on the complexities of conducting global design practice in rapidly urbanizing regions of the world). It was so interesting to go there and learn how people behave differently and learn differently; it was great to go there and experience student life there, which was really special.

We worked on a master plan together with the Chinese students; it was also kind of funny because we had groups consisting of two American students and three Chinese students – but in my group I was the only Western student because the other American student was also from China; it was the first time I felt American, even though I am not American.

What do my family /friends think of me being in America?

They admire my step to come here and return to school after working for five years and are proud of me; but they also miss me and so they are torn between pride and regret.

Following graduation, what would be your “dream job”?

In this program, I actually met an individual and now we have started a company together. So I already have my dream job. One of the aspects for me to enroll in the program was to get to know how things are done In America, to meet people who are influential, and to get an introduction to architecture and urban design and planning here; I was able to make useful contacts; I met my business partner, got introduced to new concepts, like Congress for New Urbanism (an urban design organization). My first venture with my new business partner is voluntary – we organized a summit to talk about the alternatives for the I-70 highway. In Germany, I had never heard about them; we also had a lot of stereotypes about America being car-oriented and there being only fast food everywhere; but the food here in Denver is exceptional and many people here are more physically active than my friends in Germany. Not everyone is car-oriented, especially in Denver; there is a light rail and this is an urban center that is very walkable.  For me, that was really important.

What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at the University of Colorado Denver?

I always felt well-integrated and welcomed here; everyone made me feel comfortable. I would definitely recommend the University of Colorado Denver.  One reason is the school: the program is really unique, the urban design program is rare, urban design programs are rare worldwide. It gets to the point and is really interesting. The professors are really good, such as Peter Park—he’s the former planning director of Denver. He taught my first studio here; it was intense, but that was good; it was about an alternative for I-70 highway. Just try it – do an application, come here, and engage with your classmates.

Make the best of it. This is a once in a lifetime chance – see that you get the best out of it. Everyone is so friendly, always. When I came here and wanted to know more about the university, I talked to our program director and he was really great. He made it so convenient for me and told me what kind of materials I needed to submit and said they would be happy to find a place for me here. CU Denver is not a really large university so you can get to know everyone in your program and they’re always open. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do, and I talked to my professors and asked: is there a way for me to do what I want within this program? constanze_baby_croppedAnd it was never a problem; I was able to do independent studies while I was here.

For me it turned out perfectly; I came here and got admitted, I had that really great experience. I wasn’t feeling well before I left for China for the Nanjing International Studio and then I went to the doctor and got checked out and found out I was pregnant, so I was pregnant with my daughter in China.  Now I have her and next week I’m graduating!  

Learn More

For more information, visit online at: International Student and Scholar Services international.ucdenver.edu/ISSS

International Admissions international.ucdenver.edu/admissions

ESL Academy ESL.ucdenver.edu 

Global Education: Study Abroad ucdenver.edu/studyabroad