by Sarah Matthews
Subinuer Aierken, an international student from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, said she encountered many challenges on her journey to becoming a student at Kent State.
International students face numerous challenges, including overcoming language barriers and adjusting to cultural differences. Aierken, who is of Uyghur ethnicity, said in order to keep up with her classmates, she has to study more often and read the newspaper regularly to understand current events.
The sophomore applied communication major said something that helped her adapt to her new environment was becoming a student ambassador for the College of Communication and Information (CCI).
“I was so happy because I finally get to do something,” Aikeren said. “Sometimes as an international student it’s really hard to find an on-campus job in offices. I knew this was a really good opportunity for me to practice my English and to build up my skills.”
Aierken said her duties as a CCI student ambassador include speaking at Golden Flash Days to recruit new students, assisting with on-campus events and consulting the Dean of the college. At recruitment events, the student ambassadors speak to prospective students about CCI and answer any questions they or their parents may have.
“We just get to tell our experiences to them to make them feel welcome and to [help them] make their decisions,” she said.
While she still faces challenges as an international student regularly, Aierken said the CCI student ambassador program has taught her many valuable skills.
“I’ve learned how to communicate with people more effectively and how to work in a group with people,” she said. “I was very shy when I first came to the U.S. I couldn’t speak in front of people, so after being apart of the CCI ambassador program for one year I feel like I have that confidence now to speak my opinion.”
Aierken said she would recommend other CCI students become involved in the program if possible.
Aierken said, “Not only do you meet other students within the college, but you also get to contribute to the CCI program.”
*Prior to April 2016, students had to be nominated to participate. Now, the ambassador program is open to all CCI students interested in serving the college in this way. Students can apply through May 2 at http://bit.ly/cciambassador.