She was ecstatic: Her dream of studying in the United States was finally coming true. But wait, she would be studying in Green Bay? Wisconsin? WHAT?
When the rest of the world thinks of the United States, they think of The Big Apple, or the Sunshine State, or The Golden State of California. When Jill Tesselaar learned she would be studying in little old Green Bay, she first had to find it on a map! And then, she was a little sad…
But her disappointment didn’t last long though: The minute she stepped foot on the tree-filled campus, she was elated.
As an international student, Jill arrived on campus a week earlier than most students which gave her a chance to build friendships with the other internationals – all of whom were new, too.
“I became friends with students from back home – and the other internationals – which gave me a sense of family,” Jill said about her first days in Green Bay. The sense of community she experienced was astounding, she said. She had welcoming roommates – plus a faculty and staff who helped make her experience so great.
OIE VEY: The UWGB Office of International Education (OIE) was her greatest resource during her time here. With little-to-no guidance from her home school in Holland, she relied on OIE to be her main resource, and they came through for her. “When I really needed to know something, I always contacted OIE.” She received incredible support on which she – and other international students – greatly depend.
Don’t Always Follow The Book
The many resources UWGB offers was not the only major thing she took away from her experience abroad. Traveling and learning are two incredible ways to enrich human life and studying at UW-Green Bay fulfilled both. Her international experience taught her to really live her life – and not always follow the book. A lot of obstacles had to be jumped while she was here, especially in the beginning. When she arrived on campus, there were no open places on campus to eat at other than Shorewood Clubhouse! The transportation system was quite inefficient and she was battling jet lag. Even with all this, she was still ecstatic to be on campus and excited for what was to come. This was a lesson on perseverance, another character trait that was strengthened during her adventure.
Studying at UWGB was a life-changing experience; it taught her so much about life. She met people that gave her another perspective on the world and saw places that inspired her. The Office of International Education continues to excel in making international students a home away from home and Jill’s experience is but one example.
Written by: Kate Kraemer
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