Meet Our Students: Xicong (Cassie)
Name: Xicong (Cassie)
What advice would you give another international student planning to study in the US?
Relax and be prepared for a wonderful college experience! I was extremely worried about my English before I came to UIndy, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how nice the students and faculty are! I was able to make a lot of friends here. UIndy also encourages students to learn how to balance their social and academic life. With such a welcoming environment, there really isn’t much to worry about!
Why did you decide to enroll at UIndy?
After struggling with my studies in pharmaceutical engineering for a year in China, my mom recommended the nursing program at UIndy. I talked to the advisor and other representatives; they were very friendly and assured me that they are always there to help me. I also liked the small campus. I knew it would facilitate with building career connections and making real friends. Plus, I’ve always wanted to experience a different culture, so here I am!
How was the admission process for you?
As a student applying for college, waiting for responses can be extremely painful. However, UIndy responded to my emails within a reasonable period of time and offered me a lot of help. They also provided me with a lot of other helpful information. So, I would say that the admission process was easy, efficient, and satisfying.
How was the visa application process for you?
Everybody kept telling me that applying for a visa as a nursing major would be very difficult, so I was freaked out. I researched the information online in order to be prepared, and the interview ended up not being bad at all! The interviewer was funny and not scary, so I had a great time talking to him. In a word, nervousness is totally unnecessary!
What is the best thing to eat at UIndy? What is the food really like?
Obviously, food at UIndy is different from the Chinese food I was used to. My favorite place is the Fiesta Grill, which is a Mexican food place. The chicken nachos with queso are amazing! Keep in mind: If you are not willing to try new food, you will never find out how much you will like the food at UIndy!
What do you like to do for fun in Indianapolis?
Most weekends, my friends and I will go to our favorite restaurants or to a new place to try food. Then we usually go to one of the nearby malls do some window shopping (or real shopping if we have money to spend). We might have some movie nights or go to weekend events on campus to meet new people and maybe win some prizes! Sometimes we take the shuttle downtown if there are interesting festivals and concerts.
What is your favorite thing about going to school in the U.S.?
Uncertainty is the most exciting part of experiencing an entirely different culture. Everything is unsure, including the food, culture, people, etc. But life is a journey; you should open your eyes and your mind to see the world. Imagine how cool it is to make friends from all over the world!
Tell us about any involvement you have in student organizations. How does this involvement benefit you?
I joined College Mentors for Kids as a general manager assistant and also became a committee representative for UIndy Dance Marathon. I also help incoming freshmen as an orientation guide at the beginning of the fall semester. Additionally, I am part of the Nursing Student Association. It may sound like that’s a lot of overwhelming activities, but I truly enjoy every one because I love helping people. I have been learning a lot of leadership skills and gaining so many friendships as well. Moreover, these experiences have enriched my resume and will no doubt enrich my future career.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually get up at 8 a.m. and go to the dining hall for breakfast, because I love breakfast! Then I go to different classes and invite friends for lunch and dinner to talk about how their days have been going. In the afternoon, I will go to club activities or take an energy nap. At night, my friends will invite me to go to all kinds of activities on campus. And there are events going on literally every day on campus such as concerts, movie nights, intermural sports, chapel fellowship, etc. If it is midterm week or finals week, my friends and I will go to the library and study for our tests. Grades are just as important as having fun!
How do you benefit from UIndy's small class sizes?
The small class sizes that UIndy offers is one of the main reasons that I chose to come to UIndy. It helps make you feel more comfortable to speak up in class, approach your professors, and ask for help. It is easier to find study buddies for homework and you will get a lot of chances to get to know them better throughout the semester. This kind of relaxing learning environment will definitely help boost your grades!