Bo Gong (Class of 2019)

photo of Bo GongArguably, there is not a bigger Redhawk sports fan on campus than Bo Gong, a junior at Miami University from China.

"I think my favorite part about going to Miami is the sports—I am a very big Redhawk fan," Gong says. "When I am at a Redhawk game, I feel very proud to be a student at Miami. I am a hockey fan, but sometimes I go to football games too. The environment at the games is very good, I enjoy the team spirit."

Gong wears a bright red Miami t-shirt, showing support for his team. Truthfully, he could talk about Miami sports all day.

"My favorite sport is hockey, I love watching it, and I play intramural now," Gong says. "Last semester, we won the championship. I started playing hockey when I came to Miami. Before I became an RA I worked in Goggin Ice Center."

While Gong never played or watched hockey while living in China, it was not the original factor that drew Gong all the way to Miami for college.

"I did a little bit of research before I came to America; Miami's undergraduate education is number two in America," Gong explains. "It's a small university, the major classes are only 30 students in each class, so I get more communication with my professor, which is very good for me."

Bo Gong ready to cheer on his favorite team at Coach Cady Arena.

Gong, a psychology and quantitative economics double-major and finance and supply chain management double-minor, is currently in 21 credit hours. He is also a resident assistant (RA) in McBride Hall, a member of the intramural ice hockey team, and an undergraduate assistant for University 101.

"I love the campus job opportunities—it is not about domestic students or international students—the jobs are for everybody," Gong explains of his campus involvement. "Last year, I worked in Western Dining Hall and Goggin. At that time I made a lot of friends. Before we started in America, our education was just to write English. The jobs helped me improve my English and know more about American culture. It is very important for me."

Along with his jobs helping his transition from China to America, Gong is also involved in the American culture and English (ACE) program. ACE is a transitional program at Miami for international students to practice their English skills and become acclimated to American culture.

"ACE is a program with a lot of activities—some activities are about American culture— I love the program," Gong says.

Gong explains that he has attended around 12 activities for the ACE program alone, he can't decide which activity has been his favorite.

"Sometimes, we have a partner that is a domestic student and they help us speak English and communicate," Gong says. "ACE is a program that helps you engage in the American community and make American friends. It is a very good program, I love it—it is my favorite part about Miami, actually."

Gong does not regret his decision on Miami and believes his transition into American culture was successful.

"Just come to Miami now and do not stress," Gong explains. "People are friendly at Miami—believe me— anybody can help you."

The people are friendlier at Miami, and in Oxford, than Gong anticipated. He feels that having students and faculty be so helpful and welcoming has made his transition at Miami very easy.

"One time, my car was stuck in the road and more than 10 people stopped their cars and were nice to me and helped me push my car," Gong explains of a moment that Miami students helped him. "People are friendly and helpful, it is not stressful."

Gong, juggling 21 credits hours, a hockey team, and a floor of freshmen students, is thriving at Miami and in America.

"Believe me, Miami University is better than Miami, Florida," Gong laughs.

[April 2018]