Coming from Uganda to Shenandoah for an MBA program turned out to be a rather exciting and interesting journey for me as an international student. This was a journey full of mixed feelings, from excitement, anxiety, curiosity, frustrations, to setting goals, making new friends, assimilating into the culture, and getting acquainted with my environment. One of my greatest challenges was having to cope with the fact that I was about 8,192 miles from home. Since I arrived two weeks prior to the beginning of classes, all I did then was stay in my room, speak with my mom, and try to accept my reality. As all mothers are, she did not tire, she did give me a 30-day pep talk and that is how I started opening up gradually to the environment around me. When I started classes at SU, I was introduced to the amazing faculty that were kind and patient enough to guide me through creating a study plan in line with my areas of interest. I became very involved with activities in the business school, purposed to succeed in my classes and when an opportunity for a graduate assistant came up, I applied for one and I was blessed enough to get selected.
This opportunity opened the door to my professional development. Coupled with academic experience, I was mentored, taught, and trained for my current path in finance and accounting. Today, I work with SU’s student employees in a payroll accounting position. The amazing staff at the Bowman Building have helped me grow into the person that I am today. Learning is a lifetime process and I go through it every day in my workplace and in my current D.Prof. classes.
I am glad to say that Shenandoah has shaped me into who I am today, and I am certain of who I will be in the future because of the various resources that were made available to me that helped shape my mindset to its current state. I am a proud SU student and staff member. You can never know what is out there unless you try, I encourage you to take a leap of faith through the uncertainties and just try.”
Cissy Kafu ’18 | MBA Alumni & Doctor of Organizational Leadership (D.Prof.) Student
Country of Origin: Uganda
I studied and graduated with a Doctor in Musical Arts in Piano Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory. I began my study in 2003 and graduated in 2011. I was born in South Korea (Republic of Korea) and traveled to the United States to study at SU.
During the studying years, I really enjoyed studying at SU with wonderful facilities (especially, practice rooms with well-maintained pianos and library with abundant music resources with wonderful Interlibrary Loan system) and campus life surrounded by beautiful nature. The tuition was reasonable with assistantships for lecture classes for all graduate students, even for international students. At that time I could practice and study under safe conditions.and the cost of living was great and cheaper than other places.
Music faculty members at the conservatory were very professional, supportive and friendly to their students with warm-heart and great personalities. Their knowledge and musical insight were thoughtful and sophisticated. The support of music professors (piano) is very strong and responsible even after graduation. They helped and encouraged me to achieve higher standards to be a doctor [of musical arts], finally. I still contact them (sometimes) to discuss my musical and teaching career and share my life and music. They always respond with warm-hearted messages with encouragement!!
I learned very important and great things from the school: How to be a real classical musician; what is the attitude and mind-set as music scholar; and how to understand, teach, and share music with people.”
Dr. You Jin Park ’11| Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Piano Performance Alumni
Country of Origin: South Korea
I am proud to be a Shenandoah University alum. During my time at Shenandoah University, I was the president of the International Students Association. We had activities with students from different countries. It’s an unforgettable experience. I am still connected to some of my colleagues. Currently, I am a licensed special education teacher, teaching in Loudoun county public schools. Shenandoah University gave me a strong academic experience. I am now studying for my doctoral degree in special education.
Jona Masiya ’08, ’15 | Master of Music Education (MME) & Master of Science in Special Education (MSEd) Alumni
Country of origin: Zimbabwe
I graduated from Shenandoah with a bachelor’s in business administration in 1994 and MBA in 1996. I met my wife Jules during my time at Shenandoah. She’s also a graduate, received two master’s: one in education administration in 1995 and another in Computers in Education in 1997. We are both from Taiwan. My time at Shenandoah was very positive and I have many stories to share.
I was new to the country but it was easy to understand the culture at Shenandoah. I first got exposed to SU when one of the professors hosted a seminar in Taiwan and I got connected. I initially came to the U.S. to go to a different school but ended up visiting because my sister lived nearby. I met with admissions and the dean and really enjoyed it and ended up applying to SU. I graduated with my degree and then started the MBA program which helped with my career. The MBA program gave the flexibility to take classes I wanted to take. Having an MBA for international students is not as marketable as being in the U.S. so I took a lot of computer related IT classes that helped to make me more marketable in the technical field. I now live in Herndon.
My favorite thing about SU was the personal attention. Very laid back and I could just talk to the president. I could always stop by and talk to VP’s and the president and enjoyed the personal approach. Everyone was very helpful. Anytime there was a question the professors understood you were international and were helpful. Always accessible and met needs. Any questions, you could set up individual meetings. Better than going to a larger school. SU helped me not to struggle.
David (Hwa-Wei) Liu ’94, ’96 | Bachelor of Business Administration & MBA Alumni
Country of Origin: Taiwan
I am from Germany, and graduated in 1999 with a B.A. in Mass Communication.
I initially arrived at SU in October 1996, as an exchange student, and stayed for two semesters. During that time, I fell in love with the nascent Mass Comm program. The late Dr. Edvard Thorsett, who at that time was setting us the BA program, was a tremendous inspiration for me. I went back to Germany in May 1997, but Ed eventually convinced me to come back and get my B.A. at SU.
I loved living on campus; the local students as well as other international students were a fantastic community. I can also speak very highly of Dr. Gina Daddario and Elizabeth Colton, who were fantastic professors with deep knowledge and passion.
Emilian Walter Lorenz ’99 | Mass Communication Alumni
Country of Origin: Germany
SU is a place of meeting and greeting. It is a place of cultural inclusion. It is a place where you can transform by meeting students that bring different perspectives and teachers with a wealth of experience and knowledge. It is a place of fun and the student center is where you want to be besides grabbing some of your favourite food. That reminds me of the dining hall! With a menu for everyone…. It always brings good memories.
Israr Haq ’13 | MBA Alumni
Country of Origin: Pakistan
I graduated from SU in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, RN). I am originally from Ghana, West Africa.
As a minority student, I had no idea I could receive an award, but I did!
Best Clinical Practice Student!!!!
At SU, if you deserve it, you get it!!!
Millicent Animley ’16 | Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Alumni
Country of Origin: Ghana
My experience at SU as an international student was very positive. It was the first time I had studied in the U.S. and I noticed many things that were different from my studies in Saudi. The classroom experience was particularly interesting as I really enjoyed how the professors were very accessible and the format was interactive. I felt comfortable asking questions and getting into a discussion. The professors were always very encouraging and humble, never making the students feel inferior. I felt part of the student community and met many interesting people.
Dalal Al-Olayan ’15 | Master of Science in Educational Administration (MSEd) Alumni
Country of Origin: Saudi Arabia