Wednesday, July 31, 2013

International Reflections on Graduating

On May 18th, 66 international students graduated with the class of 2013. The flags of the 46 countries represented followed the Bagpipe Band - a Macalester tradition - and led the graduating class into the Commencement Ceremony.

A couple of nights earlier, Macalester’s ISP (International Student Program) had put up its own International Student Graduation. The event welcomed all students’ families, many of them visiting campus for the first time, to celebrate their 4-year journey at Macalester. Three students shared their reflections upon leaving the school, and here’s the speech prepared by one of them:

“I arrived at Macalester on Sept. 1st 2009, after 17 hours of flight from China traveling over 10,000 miles across the ocean. During my 36 months here at Mac, I completed 2 majors, 1 minor, 6 months of study abroad program. I took classes from 10 different departments, did 3 internships, actively involved in 13 student orgs including the MCSG(Macalester College Student Government) and PB (Program Board), worked 1251 hours for my work study, volunteered at 7 different local communities and organizations.
I also participated in 6 dance concerts, 11 choir concerts, 2 on-stage theater productions, 4 flash mobs, 9 cultural performances. I made friends with 7 classes, added 1300+ friends on Facebook. I also celebrated 10 American holidays with my host family, who are also present today, Suzi, Harry and Mikki.
Now take a moment to think about all you have done during your four years here.
Have you jumped on a table in café mac and twerked in front of everyone? Have you blown the bagpipe hard enough just to make a squeaky sound but ran out of breathe and felt dizzy? Have you ever had a snowball fight with your friends and ended up being buried in the 15-inch snow? Have you enjoyed a dinner together with your professor and they obviously drank too much wine? Have you ever been scared by the squirrel hiding in the trash can right outside of campus center and jumped out suddenly when you walk by? Have you had a class outside in the sun but the wind just blow your notes everywhere so you spent the whole class picking up those papers?
       I couldn’t have accomplished all of these above without Mac. Where else would you be provided with such abundant opportunities all at the same time in your life? Where else could you be easily accepted in such friendly, open and accommodating community? Where else could you meet the whole world within only 3 blocks of the small campus?
Thanks to Mac which offered me so much richness in my four years of college, thanks to all the great faculty and staff for their support and guidance, thanks to all my great friends and fellow students for the global perspectives you brought me. These four years would be one of the most unforgettable memories in my life, and hopefully yours too. Thank you Macalester!

By Mu Yang, from Nanjing, China
Class of 2015