An International Perspective

As a senior, this is going to be my last semester at Castleton University. I have experienced a lot of fun moments at Castleton. I remember the first time I walked around the campus. It was in late January, when the snows were still plunging heavily. It was my first time seeing snow; it didn’t snow much in China. I watched the snowflakes fall from the sky and land on piles on the ground. The snow covered the entire school with white ponds.           

My mother first heard about Castleton University from the college admissions fair at home when an admissions counselor came to my hometown of Shanghai. My parents had been interested in the small classes and loved the concept of a liberal arts school. They thought it might be easier for me to connect with my classmates. Like what my parents predicted, the small class sizes helped me to focus on my work and reach out for help from teachers. Fewer students in each class made it easier for teachers to pay more attention to individuals rather than the whole class.

Another reason I like Castleton is because everyone loves to smile a lot. Everywhere I went, I was always greeted with smiles. Kindness could just be a simple act connecting everyone. It wasn’t that hard to smile to others and provide them with beautiful smiles on our faces.  

I also met a group of girls who made me feel more at home. We hang out with each other most of the time. When trouble came, we were always there for one another. After these years of being together, we had become family members to one another.

During my time here, I participated in many of the events, including a trip to the art gallery at Mass MoCa. I participated in Build a Bear, which was supported by the Student Government Association. They provide all kinds of activities for the students. It became a habit to check the new events and decide if I want to go or not.

I can’t forget about the activities to keep international students more connected with each other. They always wanted them to feel at home and be a part of the community. This way, they would feel more comfortable and know that they aren’t here alone. 

The whole experience at Castleton University was filled with laughter and tears. The friendly environment connected us all from the beginning to the end. Everyone gets along well with each other and it felt more like home. After graduating from school, I have decided to keep going on with my studying toward my master’s. Castleton University provided a perfect environment for me.

Nianci Hu is a senior English major interning with Castleton University's Marketing & Communications Office.