March 1, 2017 8:43 AM
This semester, our international alum speaker was Ruowen Ericka Lu '16 from Hubei, China. During her time at Mid-Pacific, she was actively involved in theatre, speech and debate, and the math team. She is now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying Environmental Science. She shared about her experience applying to colleges as an international student and provided advice to underclassmen.
Q) Why did you come to Mid-Pacific?
I knew that Mid-Pacific had a good theatre program. As an international student, you don't realize what the school offers until later. The teachers can help you achieve many things at Mid-Pacific. For example, we went to Scotland for theatre. For dance, there is the annual MPSA dance concert. Mid-Pacific has a lot of good resources that other schools don't offer. Just know that not all high school students get that kind of opportunity.
Q) How did you make American friends as a student at Mid-Pacific?
A) I started at Mid-Pacific as a sophomore which made it harder to find friends. I became friends with a girl that I met at orientation and asked her if I could join her for lunch. Sometimes you have to be the person to initiate the conversation.
Q) How did you get better at speaking English?
A) I was scared of speaking in front of others. However, I knew that I had to be confident because it wasn't that I couldn't speak English, it was because I was afraid of speaking English. You don't have to be fluent in English to be a good communicator. Talk to your classmates in English as much as possible. Don't let the fear hold you back.
Q) What is the most important thing that you learned at Mid-Pacific?
A) Studying at Mid-Pacific as an international student, I realized that regardless of wherever you come from, you can do things if you try. Don't think that being an international student will hold you back from succeeding. Don't be afraid to get involved in the community.
Q) What kind of impact has Mid-Pacific made on your life?
A) Mid-Pacific helped me find my passion and what I want to do in life. I am thinking of majoring in environmental science and doing filmmaking on the side.
Q) What advice do you have for international students?
A) By the end of the junior year or even before, start preparing for your SAT and other tests. It's never too early to start thinking about tests for college.
Q) What did you wish you knew before going to college in the US?
A) I didn't get to visit the school and didn't realize the school was located in the city and pre-professional. I applied early decision, meaning that I did not get to choose after getting accepted into University of Pennsylvania. I wish I knew more about Pennsylvania and what pre-professional meant because it can be a very competitive environment. When you are applying, pay attention to where the school is and the percentage of international students.