International Students

International Student Mentors

The International Student Mentor (ISM) Program at the University of Rochester exists to foster meaningful interactions between current UR students and incoming international freshmen. ISMs begin communicating with our new international students in the early summer to help them prepare for what's ahead at UR.  Throughout the year, ISMs continue to support these students by organizing fun events and serving as a resource for questions about U.S. culture and academics. 

2014 ISMs ARE COMING SOON TO THIS PAGE!!

Some things to expect from your mentor:

  1. Over the summer, mentors email their assigned mentees who are currently at home overseas. Emails contain important dates, information and reminders about moving in to begin the freshman year at the U of R. These emails also serve as a platform to communicate with the other international students assigned to your ISM and are an opportunity to ask questions you may have about the University, the local community, or the U.S. in general.
  2. International Move-in Day! All ISMs will assist international students move into their dorms. The first day also offers a chance to meet and bond with ISMs and fellow new students. 
  3. Throughout the year, ISMs plan group dinners and other fun and/or helpful group events. ISMs will also periodically check-in by email, to make sure your first year at UR is going well!
  4. As a group, ISMs coordinate events for the greater University community. We hope that all their mentees will attend these events to show their support!

Please feel free to contact any of the mentors if you find something in common after reading their bios below! All of the mentors are available to answer your questions, but you will be specifically assigned to one ISM.

About
Sanuja Bose
Sanuja Bose
Class of 2016
Majoring in Neuroscience and Health, Behavior and Society

Greetings, incoming freshmen! I was born and raised in Singapore, attending the Singapore American School for 15 years; despite the American influence my life has had, I take pride in being international. I have a great appreciation for different cultures, having visited more than 73 cities in 24 countries. Here, I am mostly involved in the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), Mock Trial, and Partners in Reading. I started to love this school as soon as I came here and I hope you will too.

My Advice:
  1. Don’t be ashamed of having questions! People are generally friendly and understanding and ISMs in particular will always be.
  2. Join different organizations on campus that interest you. It is the best way to meet people who you will most likely get along with.
  3. While adapting to a new culture is important, always be proud of where you came from and who you are. You may need to learn new things, but you will never need to feel embarrassed about how you see or do things or what you believe in. 
Kyra Bradley
Kyra Bradley
Class of 2014
Majoring in English, French and German

Hey Class of 2017! My name is Kyra Bradley. I'm a Third Culture Kid (TCK), which means I spent part of my childhood living outside of my passport country. I was born in Istanbul, grew up in Paris and went to boarding school in southern Germany. According to my passport, I’m an American citizen, but freshman year was my first year living in the United States, so I would consider myself to be an International Student. Besides being a mentor, I love being involved with Cru and my job working with kids in the LEAP program and am a GRADE student (with UofR's school of education). I’m super excited to meet all of you and cannot wait to get this year started!

My Advice:
  1. Find someone you can ask all your questions. It helps to have someone you can go to when you don't understand something about the college, culture or language.
  2. Find a community to get involved in, whether that's a club, sport, your hall... It's a great way to get to know people you might have never talked to otherwise!
  3. Make time to have fun and relax in between studying: it makes college so much more enjoyable!
Natasha Chainani
Natasha Chainani
Class of 2014
Majoring in Microbiology and Immunology

Hey Class of 2017! I'm Natasha Chainani, a Microbiology major and Public Health minor. I was born in Bombay, India and then moved to Singapore and now I study in Rochester. So I tend to call everything my home! I like dabbling in photography, culinary arts and writing. I currently blog for the Admissions office! Living in two diverse, fast paced multicultural cities made me see what it is like living life on an international platform and therefore love working with incoming international students at the U of R! It is a great pleasure to be an International Student Mentor and Leader for the year 2013-14. I'm looking forward to meeting you all! Bundle up and get ready for a roller-coaster called college... it'll be worth it! Fun fact: I really don't know what accent I have. People tend to tell me I have my own accent somewhere in between American, British and Indian. I hope summer is going awesome!

My Advice:
  1. Pack light! When I was a freshmen, I got so much stuff across the world for myself and my room and additionally ended up buying more in Rochester anyway. So save yourself the trouble and additional weight allowance for all that favorite home food you may miss instead!
  2. Take to technology like never before! Skype and Facetime have helped me keep in touch with my loved ones as if they are right next to me in college.
  3. Layer up! Yes, it gets cold in upstate NY. So be sure to have plenty of layers and perhaps one or two warm jackets (down feather jackets and fleece are the best!). You can buy them in Rochester itself during move in time; sales for winter clothing are pretty good in the Fall!
Jingwen Dong
Jingwen Dong, (Ava)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Optics

Hello, my name is Dong and I go by Ava. I am from China, and I am going into my sophomore year. I’m going to be majoring in Optics; it’s a really great program!

My Advice:
  1. Do not be afraid, people are very nice.
  2. Talk to people and make new friends.
  3. Explore Rochester and the University of Rochester.
Kayon Ellis
Kayon Ellis, (Kay, Krayon, Krayola)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Geomechanics, Minoring in German

Hi Hi! I’m Kayon and I am Jamaican. It is a small island in the Caribbean where it is always sunny. I speak English Jamaican Creole (believe me it is it’s own language), and a little bit of German. I love traveling, and this summer I will be going to Germany. I love the water and could spend everyday in the pool. I love adventures and getting to know people. I am enthusiastic and super outgoing, so I can always find some crazy adventure to embark on with my friends. I love the University of Rochester and I know you will too. Ciao, Auf Wiedershen, Bis Spater, Bye!

My Advice:
  1. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there.
  2. Do not hesitate to ask questions, you may not be the only one who has the question.
  3. College is what you make it. You get out what you put in, throw yourself into campus life.
Anima Ghimire
Anima Ghimire
Class of 2015
Majoring in Neuroscience and History

I am originally from Nepal, but currently live in Green Lake, Wisconsin. I love the U of R and admire its students and faculty even more. There is a great amount of diversity here and lots of opportunities to entertain one’s interests in community service, music, arts, dance, academia, and much more. I am currently a member of the Sihir Bellydance Ensemble, and I am also doing research at the Medical Center. I have made many friends here, and it has been an incredible two years so far. I cannot wait to share my enthusiasm with new international students as they begin their journey here at this school!

My Advice:
  1. Make new friends! There are a lot of people here who are eager to learn about new cultures and pick up a few words! Please, share your story and talk to us, and don't be afraid of language barriers!
  2. Join new clubs - I joined belly dance because my roommate - who is from Beijing, China - thought it looked really interesting and fun. And I have been performing every semester in front of hundreds of people since then!
  3. Get to know the faculty, especially your teachers. Professors are friendly and caring individuals who would love to share their interests with you! They can also be a good starting point for any research opportunities and outside help if you have any questions about the class.
Emmaline Heiken
Emmaline Heiken, (Emma)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Public Health

I am a sophomore this year and am excited to start a new year with new students. I enjoy learning languages of the world and educating my peers. I was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon and am always ready to teach people about my home. I have a lot of opinions that I am ready to debate about. I have very diverse interests.

My Advice:
  1. Join a club that complements your culture.
  2. Embrace the college diet and keep an open mind about the rest of American cuisine.
  3. Bring pairs of pants that you can layer, it gets very cold.
Xiayan Huan
Xiayan Huan, (Eric)
Class of 2015
Majoring in Psychology and Economics

Hey there, I’m Eric. I transferred from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics last year, I have tons of stories from the University of Rochester to share with the incoming freshman. I’m currently founder and president of Opening New Eyes and marketing director at UR Entrepreneurs. University of Rochester imported you from all over the world, and as an International Student Mentor, I’ll take you around and show you how awesome University of Rochester is. Email me!!

My Advice:
  1. Go out and talk to a lot of new people.
  2. Be excited to embrace new things in your life.
  3. Hang out with me.
Eun Hee Lee
Eun Hee Lee, (Hannah)
Class of 2015
Majoring in Microbiology and Chemistry

I am from South Korea. I am pre pharmacy student. I am affiliated with Chi Omega Sorority and am a business manager for Active Minds. I am also a member of LINK and CAC. I play flute in the wind symphony. I love watching movies and I love make up. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me when you need help, I don’t bite. I cannot wait to meet you guys!

My Advice:
  1. Be yourself.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  3. Relax and be open-minded.
Yixin Li
Yixin Li, (Rachel)
Class of 2015
Majoring in Financial Economics and Math

Hi guys, my name is Yixin Li but I prefer to be called Rachel. I’m a rising junior and my major is Financial Economics and Math. I am fluent in Mandarin and English. I am also currently studying Spanish.

My Advice:
  1. Try to speak English as often as possible.
  2. Don’t overload your first semester.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because there are no stupid questions.
Yuan Liang
Yuan Liang, (Aries)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Financial Economics and Applied Mathematics

I’m from Guangzhou, China. I love dancing, skiing and watching soccer games; my favorite soccer team is FCBarcelona. On campus I’m active in the Ballet Performance Group, Student Helping Honduras Club and also the Meliora Capital Management Group.

My Advice:
  1. Don’t be afraid to talk to others. Be friendly and inclusive
  2. Try not to choose more then four courses in your first semester.
  3. Be prepared for winter in Rochester.
Hui Miao
Hui Miao
Class of 2014
Majoring in Business

Welcome Class of 2017! I’m Hui, a transfer student from China. I cannot wait to tell you how great our University is. Last year, I was the international outreach aide in the Student Government, and I started Greek Life. Currently I am the Vice President of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Inc. Iota Chapter and I enjoy having a close and tight sisterhood. There are tons of opportunities out there if you are willing to take initiative. I encourage you all to take what the university can offer, explore your interests, and build your own unique campus experience. I will always be here for you, as a mentor, a friend, a sister, and a senior student

My Advice:
  1. Make more friends.
  2. Be involved in various campus activities.
  3. Set up goals and do what you love to do.
Shivali Mukerji
Shivali Mukerji
Class of 2016
Majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology

Hi everyone and welcome to the University of Rochester. My name is Shivali and I am a sophomore from Mumbai, India. I am a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology, with a minor in Spanish. My father is a Captain in the Merchant Marines, so I spent the first eight years of my life traveling the world with him. Although I don’t remember much from the time I was traveling, it shaped me as a person. I love traveling and meeting new people, and I can speak five different languages. At the University of Rochester I am involved with a few clubs and am interested in joining a few more each semester. I am looking forward to orientation and fall of 2013. I cannot wait to meet you guys!

My Advice:
  1. Join clubs! Play a sport, do something you’ve never done before.
  2. Keep an open mind and try to enjoy the new experience you’re about to have here!
  3. Help is always available, never be afraid to ask for it.
Yaomin Pan
Yaomin Pan
Class of 2015
Majoring in Financial Economics and International Relations

Hi all, my name is Yaomin Pan, also go with Yao. I’m a rising junior and a Financial Economics and International Relations double major. I was born in Guangzhou, China, then went to high school in By field, Massachusetts. I’m going to be the Student Representative for the Chinese Student Association, the Business Manager for the Model United Nation Club and a student mentor for the school’s Transition Program. When I'm free I like to play tennis, watch movies, and practice guitar. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns via email or Facebook over the summer. Welcome Class of 2017!

My Advice:
  1. Check your email on a regular base. You can get a lot of useful information from your advisors and mentors' emails;
  2. Talk to and make friends with your hall mates and participate in your hall programs actively. Your hall mates will be your very first group of friends on campus;
  3. Step out of your comfort zone and join the organizations and clubs that you are interested in. Start building your own network and finding your passion from there.
Deanna Peterangelo
Deanna Peterangelo
Class of 2016
Majoring in Neuroscience

Hello, my name is Deanna and I am from Buffalo, New York. I love to take Tae Kwan Do and have been doing it for eight years. I am now a second-degree black belt. I enjoy playing piano, graphic designing, and being a part of CRU here on campus. Welcome to the University of Rochester!

My Advice:
  1. Don’t be afraid to speak English.
  2. Some of the best resources are the people you meet so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  3. Try something new, explore, learn, and grow!
Sade Richardson
Sade Richardson
Class of 2015
Majoring in Health, Behavior, and Society and Digital Media Studies

I am originally from the beautiful twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. On campus, I am a Meridian, President of the Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness, Vice President of the Douglass Leadership House, and a member of the College Diversity Roundtable.

My Advice:
  1. Have Fun!
  2. Try everything and anything you want to.
  3. Never be afraid to ask a question.
Sukanya Roy
Sukanya Roy, (Suki)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Microbiology

Hi! My name is Sukanya, and I am a sophomore here at the University of Rochester. I was born in California, but raised in Portland, Oregon so I’m very excited to be living on the East Coast for the first time. I have a huge obsession with dancing which is what led me to become a captain of our Indian dance team, Rochester Raas; this is how I get my exercise done. I’m also a part of our MERT team on campus. Ever since I came to the school I became very interested in photography and cannot stop taking pictures of our beautiful library! I hope to study abroad in Europe sometime in senior year if my schedule allows it. If you guys have any questions about the campus life, classes, or just anything, feel free to contact me through Facebook or email! Welcome to ROCHACHA :)

My Advice:
  1. Join a lot of clubs because you will meet wonderful people outside of your class year that you probably would not have met.
  2. Find a gym buddy and go exercise regularly so you can stay fit. Trust me, it will make studying a lot easier, and you're brain really deserves a break :)
  3. Keep your dorm rooms open and socialize with you hall/floor! These people will most likely be your first friends.
Aviva Schaffer
Aviva Schaffer
Class of 2014
Majoring in International Relations, Minoring in Arabic

Hi Everyone! My name is Aviva Schaffer, I’m from Rochester, and I’m going to be a senior in the fall. I’m majoring in International Relations with a minor in Arabic, but in the last 3 years I’ve taken classes in many different academic departments. When I’m not in class, you can usually find me juggling, planning events for one of the clubs I’m in, or studying in Gleason Library – the library without books. I also take saxophone lessons at the Eastman School of Music. I studied abroad in Jerusalem and Rabat where I studied Arabic. Please contact me with any questions you have about the University of Rochester. I can’t wait to meet all of you at the end of the summer!

My Advice:
  1. Try to meet American and other international students starting on your first day.
  2. Expect things to be different, and try new things!
  3. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Wentao Wang
Wentao Wang, (Lorraine)
Class of 2014
Majoring in Business

I am a rising senior. I am from China, majoring in business and minoring in Social Psychology. In 2012, I studied abroad at the University of Melbourne and Queen May College, and the University of London. In Melbourne, I was selected to be the main female character in the Chinese theater group’s twentieth anniversary drama.

My Advice:
  1. It is very cold in Rochester, bring heavy clothes.
  2. You will probably need a credit card before you come to America.
Yang Yang
Yang Yang
Class of 2016
Majoring in Music

Greetings boys and girls! I’m involved with many music-oriented clubs such as NJR and OBOC. Other then music, I’m a big fan of adventures, such as skiing, backpacking and world traveling. I’ve been to a lot of place around the world, I really enjoy experiencing different cultures and languages.

My Advice:
  1. Join some clubs that you’re interested in trying out.
  2. Take some humanity courses outside of your major to expand your knowledge.
  3. Don’t be afraid to join a group conversation in your hall or class.
Lan Zhou
Lan Zhou, (Joanne)
Class of 2016
Majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science

I’m from the southern part of China. I can speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English. I’m doing yoga and trying to improve my cooking skills.

My Advice:
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to make friends.
  2. It’s kind of dry, remember to bring lotion.
  3. You don’t need to bring too many clothes.