My name is Nora (Nuoya) Wu, and I am a first year student at Mac. I grew up in China, and attended the United World College (UWC) in Norway for the past two years. It was a fantastic experience, and I hoped it would help me to facilitate the Global Ambassador Program with some creativity and openness of mind. I am excited to be a part of the team, to get engaged in its development, and to connect people and ideas within and beyond Mac.
This summer I have travelled around in Europe with my UWC friends after graduation. We went to Preikestolen in Norway, known in English as the pulpit rock. We hitchhiked all the way back to our school, which was fairly adventurous and exciting. We went to Paris, stunned by its beauty and romance, and talked with some local UWC alumni. Then we went to Rome and Venice to explore Italian food and history. Later I took the train through Germany to Sweden, and then on to Poland. Finally I flew back to China with all these new perspectives.
In China I volunteered as an English teacher and answered questions about study abroad from prospective students. Two friends of mine from Paraguay and Sweden also came to visit me for two weeks. I had the chance to guide them around, go to some tourist attractions for the first time (like the Great Wall), and discuss social and cultural issues with them.
I arrived at Mac early in the morning of August 27, and things have been hectic ever since. First I had pre-orientation for international students, where I met awesome ISP mentors who picked us up at the airport, took us to Target, and shared their stories and experiences. We were dropped off in downtown Minneapolis to complete some tasks and find our way back to campus. It was so much fun! On August 29 we finally met the entire Class of 2017. Together we had Convocation, Faces of Mac, a talent show, and various other activities to help us to become engaged and better acquainted.
I really enjoy life at Mac so far. To be enrolled in a course specifically designated for first years encourages group work and discussion outside the classroom. And the emphasis on writing and residential engagement facilitates the college transition for both international and domestic students.
Here I have my academic advisor who helped me select courses and arrange my schedule. I have an RA who helps me with residential adaptation. I have my pre-orientation and orientation mentors who meet me frequently and give me tips for college. I have friends from various backgrounds from whom I learn a lot, both from our similarities and our differences. I have great professors and course assistants who are willing to answer any questions I have. What has amazed me the most is that how friendly people are at Mac and in the Twin Cities.
Ohhhh. I almost forgot: I even have a family here! My host mom has sent me emails since my first day of about her concern for me and how well I am accommodating to the United States.
The weather nowadays is sunny and beautiful, and it just reminds me the warmth of home.