Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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International students discuss personal experiences and culture in campus panel

Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images
GENEVA – JUNE 08: Numerous national flags are seen in front of the United Nations Office (UNOG) on June 8, 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. Housed at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General at Geneva. A focal point for multilateral diplomacy, UNOG services more than 8,000 meetings every year, making it one of the busiest conference centres in the world. With more than 1,600 staff, it is the biggest duty stations outside of United Nations headquarters in New York

Cerritos College hosted a wide range of events in honor of International Education Week, Nov. 18 to Nov. 21, with one of the events including a panel that had five international students answer questions about their experiences on campus, describe their culture and give advice to other students.

David Tilhuan, international administrator specialist, said that this event is a way to showcase international students.

The panel was introduced by Tilhuan and Joanna Alverado, the international academic counselor, who asked the five students, Sanpichnora Meng, Aaron Kim, Aarju Sapokta, Francecmma Kamidi and Mary Nicolette Ronas, questions about their different experiences and culture.

One of the questions asked was what made them want to study in the United States. This was answered by Meng who said that she wanted to study here because the education opportunities were much better here.

Kamidi said that she came because she wanted to learn more English, because French is her first language.

Rona answered that she also wanted to study English and because the weather here is similar to the Philippines where she is from.

Another question was what the cultural differences were between them and the United States.

Rona answered that she felt less judged on being part of the LGBTQ community. She also said that the Philippines were more conservative and are a Catholic-based culture.

A question also asked about what kind of obstacles they faced during school.

Meng said that her biggest challenge was speaking and driving. She would have to take Lyft or Uber to school because she didn’t have a driver’s license.

Kim also said that driving was difficult for him as well. He didn’t have a car when he first came here and he would have to ask his friends to drive him everywhere. English was also a challenge for him as it wasn’t perfect.

Sapkota said that her biggest obstacle was at school where she had trouble finding or knowing which class to take and talking to the professors since there were language differences.

“This event is important because it helps people be more open-minded about the different cultures and problems,” Tran Quygnh, a Business Administration major, said.

Some of the resources they had access to on campus were also asked. Ronas said that in her third semester at Cerritos College, she joined the Student Senate and she said she really loved it because it gave her a voice and help other students with their needs.

The panel was a way for international students to be reached out and were given the advice to help with the challenges that Cerritos College may have.



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About the Contributor
Vivian Yglesias, Staff Writer
Vivian Yglesias is a Cerritos College student and is a journalism major. Her free time includes listening to music, Internet browsing, and writing. She hopes to become an author one day, but is settling for a career in journalism because she loves to write.
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International students discuss personal experiences and culture in campus panel