Hi! Everybody my name is Yaroslav Brychka and I come from Kirovohrad, Ukraine! I am a hospitality management major and concentrate mostly on business classes at MC. I got a lucky chance to study abroad and I grabbed it. Just like that! Some people might ask was it that easy? Well, if you want to achieve success in anything you do, you have to put a lot of work and effort into it. The program is called UGRAD and it a leadership program which allows me to study in the USA for one academic year. I did actually have a chance to choose a college, but know that I know much about a MC I can say it was a good choice.

When first heard about a MC, I was not quite sure why my program has chosen this college. After being at MC for more than a semester, my views have changed a lot and I learned a lot. I got to know many international and US student. With some of them I am good friends. Here at Maryville College I got a great chance to participate in clubs and different college activities. One of my most important experiences is learning about the US and American culture. I did not participate in the ESL program, but I know a lot of people who have and had good responses about it. I also have some ESL friends and we hang out from time to time. It is difficult to say one thing I like about MC. There are just so many things to be listed, so I will list my favorite. I think Maryville College is a great place to socialize with different people. I really enjoy my professors at MC, they are high class professionals with a lot of experience which they share at class. I like the location of MC, because it is like several steps from nature and the Smoky Mountains, which I can see from my window.

MC has given me a lot of valuable experience, which I did not think I might come across. This has given me a great chance for personal growth. I have been involved with a lot experiences on-campus and off-campus. I am an active member of GCO club and hope to apply for a leadership position this semester. I have participated in a lot of non-profit and volunteer activities. I have volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, Parks and Recreation at Maryville, Knoxville Leadership foundation and Martin Luther King Center at Maryville. I am looking forward to new experiences and activities at MC! I am always happy to meet new people and socialize. Thanks MC for this great experience and I am looking forward for the same to happen this semester.

Nobody can find a better college than here. My name is Yasuo Fukui. I also have a name in English, Korean and Arabic. Actually, my friends from those countries named my name in those languages. I’m from Chiba, Japan, and after graduating from high school in Japan, I was looking for a college in United States.
The reason why I chose Maryville College is that it is a liberal arts college. I know there are other liberal arts colleges but I like Maryville the best. In my studies, I am focused on developing overall academic skills. In the life style at MC, we are required to be independent and to develop leadership skills. Also, Maryville College has a high ranking of the ‘’best colleges” list.

It’s already pasts 9 months since I came here. During the first 5 months from April to August, I studied English as a second language (ESL) to improve my English ability. The ESL program is composed of student from Saudi Arabia, Asia, Europe and many other places. Thanks to the program I have friends from about 20 countries. The program is held every month so you can join many times during the year. The number of the students in a class is usually less than 10 students. At first, I didn't have confidence in my speaking ability. But, thanks to the ESL program and friends from all over the world my English has improved. The class is divided with students’ English abilities so we can learn with students at our same level. There is even a class to learn the alphabet for beginners. My first roommate couldn't say anything in English at first. He could say just his name, but now that his English abilities have improved, he can communicate with friends with joy. Thus, even if you are an beginning student, it doesn't matter. Of course I was also this kind of person. I couldn't speak anything except being asked “how are you?” I always answered “I’m fine, thank you and you?”  It’s a typical response that we all Japanese learn, which is not practical at all and is never used in the USA. Anyway, if you haven’t decided whether to study abroad or not, don’t worry. It is worth it. I was not the exception who was hesitating to plunge into new world, but once I came here, I didn’t need to be anxious.

I cannot count the number of good things about Maryville College, There are too many. I can say thanks to everyone at MC. I feel we are connected with people because when I walked in the campus I can see my friends and say “hello” and hug each other. Also, all the students they are really kind and thoughtful. I noticed this even more after I went to New York. After that trip I felt that Maryville is the best place, even better than my hometown.

僕は福井康夫。英語と韓国語とアラビア語の名前も持っている、というか仲の良い友達が命名してくれた。自分は千葉県の出身で東京の高校を卒業 後、留学斡旋業者を使わずに一から自分で調べてMaryville Collegeに辿り着いた。MCを選んだ理由は色々あるけど一番大きな決め手になったのはliberal arts collegeだということ。勉学面では基礎固め重視、生活面ではまず自立を目指し、リーダーとして活躍することを目指している。また本校は全米ランキン グにおいても上位に位置し、勉強するにはもってこいの環境となっている。

今月でここに来て9ヶ月目になるが、最初の4−8月の5ヶ月間はESL(English as a second language)クラスで英語を学び、英語力の向上を図った。ESLは1ヶ月単位でやっていて友達の入れ替わりが激しかったが、主にサウジアラビア人が 占めていてその他にもアジア諸国、東南アジア、ヨーロッパなど各国から学生たちが集まっている。実際、自分が入った1ヶ月後には20カ国近くの友達ができ た。クラスは少人数制の10人以下でやっている。クラス分けは学力で分けられており、アルファベットから学べる授業もある。最初のルームメイトは来た当初 何も話せなかったみたいだけど、今では意思疎通がとれるまでに成長した。だから’小学生’でも安心して渡米できる。もちろん自分も例外じゃなかった。英会 話は何も知らずhow are you? と聞かれてI’m fine thank you.としか返せない程度だった。もし行くか迷っているのだったらもう悩む必要はない。早く来な。自分も渡米するまでめちゃくちゃ悩んで体壊しかけたけ ど今じゃもっと楽しみに待っていればよかったなと思っている。

MCで良いとこは数知れずだがまず、キャンパスがとても小さいこと。どこに行っても友達に会えて挨拶交わしたりハグするから本当に人と繋がっているのだ なって思える。それにみんなスッゴイ優しい。NYに旅行に行ったときでさえMaryvilleが一番だなって思っていたし、今も変わらない。

課外活動はまだそんなに始めてないけど次のセッションからleadership programに参加してリーダーたるものがどう行動すれば良いのかを学びたい。それからボランティア活動にも参加するつもりで来年隣の州まで行ってトル ネードの被害が大きかった所へ行くつもりだ。元々ボランティア活動は好きな方というか好きだったのでこれからもっとそういった活動にも熱を注ぎたい。

My name is Onyeka Ononye and I'm an international student from Nigeria. Before I decided to leave my home country and come to MC, I had searched for schools with the regular criteria: liberal arts education, small class size, low faculty to student ratio and a good website. I was of the opinion that a good and well developed website showed that the college was able to sell itself to students who weren't able to have a campus tour. That might sound like a pretty funny criterion, but that was really important. The major deciding factor though was its location.

"Tennessee......are you kidding?" was one of the statements a lot of my friends made when I told them I was considering coming to MC. You see, I live in a place that's pretty commercial and fashion forward, so just like the lot of my friends, applying to states like New York, California and the likes were more favourable. Nonetheless, I was up to the adventure of traversing unfamiliar territory, so I decide to go to Maryville College.

Upon my arrival, I began to lose confidence. I guess I should have expected it to happen considering that I was there alone without family and friends, but this didn't last for long. MC has one of the best international campus communities you can think of. Making friends from parts of the world you never even knew existed gives you a whole new perspective on issues ranging from politics to personal perceptions. The first organization I joined was the Global Citizenship Organization. This organization consists of both international and American students who have studied abroad or are just internationally minded. This group soon became my family as it was easy to express the way I was feeling since most of us felt the same way. I can't say that I've learned a new language yet, but I know a word on two in Moldovan, Spanish and even Thai. I also know how to write my name in Arabic and Korean.

Maryville College to me is a place where diversity is celebrated. MC allows you give your opinions both in and out of the classroom. It's a nice community filled with people who always have smiles on their faces.

Coming to MC has opened doors to many opportunities for me. I am the president of an organization called Voices of Praise. This choir will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in March and I will have the opportunity to sing with Pastor Donnie McClurkin, an award winning gospel musician. I am also a resident assistant(RA) in the female freshman residence hall. As an RA, I have met some of the most talented people in my life. As a Bonner scholar, I have also gotten the opportunity to volunteer at sites I would never in a million years have imagined possible.

So far, I've been talking about my experiences, but this blog wouldn't be complete without talking about the college’s academic standards. As a biology major, I can definitely say that MC has a strong science program. At MC students are given the opportunity to learn and then put all those theories into practice. The professors are so knowledgeable and don't hesitate to impart their knowledge to their students. One way by which they do this is by offering lab apprenticeship positions to students. I am really excited to be a lab apprentice next semester because I know it will take me much closer to becoming involved in professional genetic research.

I can definitely say that even though I still have a couple of years left for my undergraduate studies, I am glad that I get to spend it in a place such as Maryville College. HAPPY NEW YEAR!