Below is a questionaaire for International UMM Alumns:
Subject: UMM-Morris,MN-U.S.A.-Questionaaire from Sal:)
Major cultural/ethnic food:
What's most unique about your country?
What were your expectations of UMM before coming here?
Did you meet these expectations?
What do you do now (eg. family, job, etc...)?
What were the biggest challenges here?
What were the biggest accomplishments?
Do you have any advice for current/future international students that come to UMM-Morris, MN?
What was your first perspective of America before you came here? What is your perspective now of America?
How do you view your country after being in America?
What's life like after UMM for you; what do you do now (eg. family, job, etc...)?
Any questions, comments, etc..?
Name: Yoko O. Kusayanagi
Language: Japanese, Japa-English
Cultural Food: Japanese food
Year graduated: 2000 (UM Twin Cities)
Unique about Japan: Japanese people always take their shoes off before entering house. It is not a bad thing to eat noodle with noise!
Expectation to UMM before comming: small classes where faculty members can closely pay attention to students.
Met the expectation?: Yes, all the professors I had took care of me very well during their office hours. Plus, TA always gave us a good advise.
What do I do now?: I work as a sales rep/administration at TG Nort America Corp. in Troy, MI.
What was my perspective of America before I came to the US? : Liberal. I imagined that America is the one in the Hollywood movies.
What is my perspective of America now?: Very diverse. People are more open-minded and like to talk or argue on anything.
How do I view my country (Japan) after I came to the US?: I feel that Japan is very organized and clean country in a good manner. Meanwhile, people are too concious about themselves.
What were my biggest challenges here?: I suppos it was school work I've done at UMN. It was tough since I did not speak/read English well at the time I came to the US.
What were my biggest accomplishments here? : One of my biggest accomplishments should be my completion of school work. Plus, I made friends from all over the world, which enriched my ways of thinking.
Advise for current/futuer Int'l students at UMN, Morris:> Well... UMN is a small campus, but it should be a good size for you to start your like in the US! Make as many friends as possible, and open up your mind!
Name: Lauris Sondors
City, Province/State,-Country (current): Belgrade, MN, USA
Major cultural/ethnic food: Latvian Cousine: sweet-sour rye bread, Latvian bacon buns, sklandu rausi (buns), birch juice, beer
Major: Computer Science (BA)
What's most unique about your country? Culture and history
What were your expectations of UMM before coming here? Preparation for real life
Did you meet these expectations? Yes
What do you do now (eg. family, job, etc...)? I’m a computer network administrator at small to mid-sized company near Belgrade, MN. Father of Toms
What were the biggest challenges here? Communicate ideas and concepts.
What were the biggest accomplishments? Think abstractly and develop critical thinking.
Do you have any advice for current/future international students that come to UMM-Morris, MN? Balance social life with school work. Don’t forget about family and friends. Grasp for every opportunity to communicate ideas with others.
What was your first perspective of America before you came here? Land of opportunity
What is your perspective now of America? America shall be proud of acomplishments in global arena. I view it as example country for others. It is a land of opportunity.
How do you view your country after being in America? Latvia has chagned a lot in past 10 years. Latvia is one of 10 new European Union Member States.
Latvia’s biggest challenge to be is multi ethical group integration in country’s economical and political arena. My view of country has not contrasted much because of changes.
What's life like after UMM for you; what do you do now (eg. family, job, etc...)? My life has chagned a lot since graduation. “UMM umbrella” dilluted, good memories of UMM remain as a reminder how important is to enrich ones mind with ideas and concepts. Eventually gained knowledge find a way out in form of produced work. It’s a great feeling to acknowledge following: “Yeah, I’ve heard about it at UMM, great idea, lets look into it more…”
After birth of my son in Spring of 2003 I spend a lot of time with him. Watch live internet news about Latvia, Europe and World. I don’t forget about Sunday Futbol and local events. It’s great to be a part of this world, it’s great to see a perspective of one in global economy. Thanks to UM, UMM and US for this opportunity….
Name: Hyung Kim
City, State/Province, Country:Seoul, Korea
Food: Rice, Kimchi,
About my county: It's an asian country that is still not unified and in a big tension.
Expections of UMM: Small town, small campus things, friendly people. That was what I was expecting. And I think I met those expectations. It is not something you can easily have in other big colleges in a big city.
The biggest challange was English problem and the weekend problem. I didn't know what to do on weekends. But I finally got used to it. It wasn't that bad. The accomplishment was that I think I studied a lot, so I learned a lot. And I also learned about the naive people and rural life in America. Also, Morris is a good place to improve your English. Advice would be they need to know boforehand how hard it could be in a small town away from his/her own coutry. Facing it with some kind of preparation may make the life a little easier. Also, for the people who go to UMM but came from a big city, I want to tell them that it would be at most 4 years at Morris. And it can be a unique and precious experience for them that they cannot ever get after the graduation. I met a lot of other Korean students in the Twin Cities. They travel from one major city to another. They wouldn't be able to understand what it is like to be in a small town and in a small campus.
I think America is just too big to say my perspective of America in one way. I didn't have any idea about what a small town in the middle of nowhere would be like. The perspective I had is maybe mainly from the movies, I guess. But I knew that it was gonna be different from what I saw in the movies.
After College: As you know I go to the graduate schoo in Vermont. I am still in a small town, but it is a lot bigger than Morris. About the size of St. cloud.
Name: Sachiko H
Address: Osaka, Japan
City, Province/State,-Country: Language-dialect-tribe: Japanese. I speak both Osakan dialect and the standard Japanese.
Major cultural/ethnic food: I would say it's rice and miso-soup. As you know, we eat a lot of raw and cooked fish as well as various kinds of vegetables.
What's most unique about your country? It is hard to answer this question, but I think Japan is unique because it is very beautiful. I feel people are beautiful both inside and outside; the food is delicious and the nature is truly gorgeous.
What were your expectations of UMM before coming here? I did not expect much. I came to Morris for a personal reason.
Did you meet these expectations? N/A
What do you do now (eg. family, job, etc...)? Secret. If you want to know, you can ask me.
What were the biggest challenges here? It was way too cold in Morris. I was always a little sick and I had to go see a doctor every month. I also needed to took a whole bunch of pills to keep me going.
What were the biggest accomplishments? Leaving Morris, I am just kidding, My biggest accomplishment was meeting a lot of people I like and came to love. I really miss them all.
Do you have any advice for current/future international students that come to Ř UMM-Morris, MN? I recommend them to stay close with other students regardless of their race or national origins. In a small town like Morris, you need a lot of social support from each other. You also may want to stay healthy by eating right, sleeping enough and working out regularly. You can also ask for help when you find yourself sick or depressed. It is good to ask for help.
What was your first perspective of America before you came here?
What is your perspective now of America? I am not sure about the first perspective of America. But my perspective now of America is definitely positive overall.
How do you view your country after being in America? About the people, I feel Japanese people are beautiful and harmonious. However, I feel I do not quite fit in here because I am more open-minded and yet critical about things than many Japanese people around me. About the land of Japan, I feel it is way too crowded. I often feel I am going to faint because there are way too many people around me and they do not care if they hit me while walking down a street.
What's life like after UMM for you; what do you do now (eg. family, job, > etc...)? My life after UMM has been busy, and I am always a little confused because I am at least bilingual. I get confused about when to use what languages. I hope I can spend more time being quiet and alone. I still need a lot of time to figure things out.
Any questions, comments, etc..? I love you, Sal!
Young Heo 96'-97', Korean int'l student, poses in front of Clayton A. Gay Hall's Homecoming decoration
Quotes/Responses from former students:
"Morris maybe boring, but your experience at this rural college town mayby the only one you may experience ever in your life, so take advantage of the time you spend here-there is no one like this"-Korean Alumn that transferred to UofM-Twin Cities and graduated 03' (*paraphrase verbal interview)
Below are separte student organization's I was involved in when I attended UMM from 1995-1999. I met many diverse people in UMM when I got involved with different student organizations (culturally, religiously, etc..) Sadly to say, it does appear these links I set up are segregated. Explanation down below.....
*Note: I'm not intentionally segregating each race. I'm actually distinguishing each student organization I was involved in with each former alumn's experience (each has a different question as each member came from a different background and went through a different experience here at UMM) with each organization. God has opened my eyes when I was an "involved" student at UMM and continues to do so after living here. Getting involved with various student organizations was a time of searching my identity, which I found it-in Christ-one of many God's children I think that is why it's been hard to leave "Motown"!
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