Meet Our Students: Baris
Home Country: Turkey
Major: Finance and International Business
Outside of Class Activities: Swim team, resident assistant, pool lifeguard, Finance Club
What do you enjoy about going to college in the U.S.?
My favorite part about going to college in the United States is that I am now a part of a very diverse culture. Being immersed in a new atmosphere with different languages and traditions is truly an unforgettable experience. Being the United States, there are so many different backgrounds and viewpoints which makes every day interesting.
What advice do you have for new international students? What advice would you give about improving one's English skills?
I think that every student should approach college, especially in a new country, with an open mind. Instead of bringing your culture and traditions here, think of it as merging into the American culture. I would suggest that new students make an effort to adapt and to include themselves in Americans' everyday life. Many students may encounter a language barrier when they first start school, but this will improve quickly if the student socializes and constantly practices their English. This effort will help you feel more at home and improve your verbal skills.
What advice would you give about living on campus?
I enjoy being involved with people and culture first hand and I would highly suggest living in the dorms. This is the best strategy or approach to really get the best out of your college experience. Of course it can seem overwhelming but I have lived in the dorms all four years and would not have it any other way. Making new friends is much easier this way and with being so far from home, you always have people to turn to. It was a huge and important part of my college experience.
What do you think of your major?
I am double majoring in economics and International business along with a minor in finance. Coming to the United States, I knew that this was the field I wanted to major in. I chose these majors specifically because they deal with real life issues and are constantly changing. They are also related to politics, which I am also interested in. Overall, these majors provide a constant momentum that engages my curiosity.
Tell us about your involvement with the Finance Club and the HELIO Fund.
HELIO is a non-profit micro-finance institution created and operated by faculty and students at the University of Indianapolis. The HELIO Loan Fund is a student loan fund for developing countries that utilizes the principles of social entrepreneurship as its driving force. HELIO stands for Higher Education Loans, International Opportunity. HELIO means "sun or light" which represents our goal of providing "illumination through education".
The HELIO Loan fund attracts funds from U.S. investors and uses their investments to provide student loans to university students in the developing country of Belize, attending our sister school, Galen University. Without these funds, potential Galen students have limited sources of financing to achieve a higher education.
Finance Club has been a great way for me to further my knowledge about my career choice in an “out of the classroom” way. As a group we were the founders of the Helio Fund. It was a great chance for people of similar interests to get together and to expand their knowledge about the financial world. Joining a group allows you to associate with other people besides everyday classmates or the people you live with.
Tell us about your campus job and fund-raising work.
I am a resident assistant, helping students in the dorms, and lifeguard at the University of Indianapolis. Being a resident assistant has helped me greatly with becoming a better leader, networking and establishing friendships. Through the resident assistant position, we have been involved in various fund raising programs or campus service projects. Being a part of an organized group that provides leadership for our University has been very rewarding and beneficial for my personal development. It was an additional way for me to meet more students and to make a difference in their lives.