Last year, six AUPP students took advantage of AUPP’s automatic transfer to University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML). We got in touch with the students to see how they were doing in the United States.
The students shared their excitement of seeing snow for the first time in their lives, and experiencing the cultural differences in the US while being able to communicate with the large Khmer population at UML. It is their home away from home.
Below is the conversation we had with one student in particular. Check it out!
What was your major at AUPP?
My major was Business Administration.
When did you move to UML?
I transferred from AUPP to Umass Lowell on August 18th, 2015.
Why did you want to study in the US?
There were a few reasons why I wanted to study in the States. First of all, I wanted to explore and to get to know more about American education. I wanted to gain more experience of both studying and living abroad.
How did AUPP help prepare you for your time at UML?
The 2+2 program at AUPP is designed for sophomores to continue our study as Juniors and Seniors in America which enabled me to come to UML. I also got to know Dr. Chigas, who is a Professor at Umass Lowell and AUPP. I bet some of our current students know about him.
What have you liked most about your time in the USA?
Since I came here, I have been welcomed by lots of people in the States. I have met lots of helpful professors and friends. One of the most memorable parts was seeing snow for the first time in my life. It was so beautiful.
I have also been to many places around MA and I have visited New York and Rhode Island. I’ve been able to eat in many Cambodian restaurants. It has been fun to join many programs and clubs.
What advice would you have for students interested in studying abroad?
First of all, my suggestion for our current students is to work on their time management. You need to know what you have to do and plan accordingly. I, myself, need to do everything. I can’t depend on anyone here because they also have their own work. So, I have to go to grocery stores, prepare food for myself, and do housework. Moreover, I also have tons of schoolwork to do. Therefore, if you can manage your time well, you will be alright.
Second, you have to be punctual for every class and meeting. Here, people take time seriously so you have to arrive before/on time. If you live off campus like me, you have to wake up early in the morning to walk to the bus stop which takes about 7 minutes and then take a school bus to school which takes another 20 minutes.
Third, my suggestion is to be well-organized. I personally took six courses for both semesters. It was tough. However, I took advantage of using a Weekly Academic Planner to help me. I listed all dates for exams, quizzes, assignments, and homework. It is really helpful so you don’t forget what needs to be done and when as there are lots of work to submit.
Last but not least, you need to be well-prepared. Despite being here for about a year, I still find it hard to adjust to the weather. People say “Winter is in the morning, and Summer is in the afternoon.” You do not want to wear sweatpants and a T-shirt when it is 10 Fahrenheit – or – a winter coat when it is 70 Fahrenheit. You have to check the weather before going out!
I have learnt that nothing is impossible as long as you try and do not give up.
What would you like to do next?
As an international student, I can’t work off campus or do an internship until this summer, I guess. In the meantime I am searching for jobs on campus. Hopefully there will be something available. I will also take advantage of the enroll co-op program at school so they can help me find internships and I can also get credits from this. That is what I plan for now.