International Peer Orientation Leaders (iPOL)

For the orientation program, all international students will be placed into small groups led by an International Peer Orientation Leader (iPOL). iPOLs are current Miami University students who can answer questions about campus life, academics, transitioning to Miami, and many other topics. Feel free to ask the iPOLs any questions you have about being a student! We hope that you have a great orientation experience and are interested in applying to be an iPOL in the future.


Fall 2022 Orientation iPOL Team

Undergraduates

Emily Abas

Hi! My name is Emily Abas and I am a second year student double majoring in East Asian Languages & Culture and Media & Communication with a minor in Chinese. I grew up in Loveland, Ohio but was born in Guangxi, China.

My goal coming to Miami was to find what major best suits me and to make friends. I wasn't afraid to explore the different programs Miami had to offer and found that the double major I mentioned above was what I wanted. I made new friends by joining a lot of clubs and I hope to become more involved in these clubs in the future.

My one piece of advice for you all is to explore! Although flying thousands of miles to another country is already very impressive, it is sometimes still very scary to branch out and find you place at Miami. However, if you keep an open mind and seek out things to do in college, you will find your fit! Be confident and I can't wait to meet you all!

Lindsay Douglass

HI! My name is Lindsay, I am from Bloomington, Illinois, and I am a rising senior studying Anthropology and Global Health. Coming into college, I really wanted to take advantage of all of the opportunities that Miami offers for students to study abroad and be exposed to different cultures. This past year, I was able to fulfill this dream by spending a year in Sevilla, Spain studying and interning with a local NGO. I would advise any student coming into Miami to branch out from your major and take classes that really interest you! This will help you leave your comfort zone and to disconnect from the bubble we as students can sometimes trap ourselves in within our major. (I personally love Art History and Intro to anything classes!)

Donghyun (Kai) Kim

What's poppin' boys and girls! I'm Kai from Seoul, South Korea. I'm a sophomore majoring in computer science. I'm also a member of the school's Korean American Student Association, where students participate in various activities to learn about the South Korean culture. I like working out with friends, playing soccer, and oil painting on canvas. Miami is a great place to learn with students of diverse cultural backgrounds, meet new people, and boost your creativity. I truly hope you achieve what you seek for here. No matter what you are looking for, however, carpe diem! Also, I wore a pair of jeans to a 14 hours flight the first time I was headed for CVG; let's just keep them in your trunks :)

Nghia (Martin) Le

Hello! I'm Nghia (Martin) Le from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - a junior majoring in Integrated Mathematics Education with a minor in Computer Science. Most of my time out of classes are spent working as a tutor for Rinella Learning Center, but you can also catch me helping out in the International Student Center from time to time. I love animals (especially chubby and fluffy ones), play various types of sportsball, and can’t do any art even if my life depends on it. Being an international college student can be a challenging experience for newcomers, so my best advice for you is to never be afraid to ask for help and strive to build a solid support system including friends, faculty, and staff members. Most importantly remember to immerse yourself in the Miami community, stay open to new experiences, and make the most of your time. Welcome to Miami!

Yonglin (Angel) Luo

Hi! My name is Angel Luo and my hometown is Guangzhou, China. I am a senior majoring in Marketing and Emerging Technology in Business & Design, and minoring in Human Capital Management & Leadership. During my time at Miami, I have been involved in several leadership positions in community service organizations, culture and arts associations, and clubs. I am passionate about these extracurricular activities because I feel that I am giving back to the community and helping others in some ways as I serve in these roles. As my iPOL has helped me tremendously during orientation, I hope to do the same for future Miamians as well. For one piece of advice in college, I would encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity, and be adventurous out of your comfort-zone. You will be surprised by how much you enjoyed what you have done. :)

Jamie Nguyen

Hi everyone! I'm Jamie. I'm a junior majoring in Biology. I'm also an international student from Hanoi, Vietnam. I love traveling, filming, and hiking. One of the things that I am the most grateful for at Miami is my choir. Before coming to Miami, I have never been involved in any type of singing whatsoever. Joining the choir helps me a lot in exploring myself as well as making many new friends along the way. For the incoming international students, my advice for you is to take it easy. It is really hard to be in a totally different setting and everything takes time so do not worry about not doing your best at first! Hope you will have a great time here!

Elena Pazman

My name is Elena Pazman. I am a junior studying psychology and I am an international student from Croatia. My favorite hobbies are taking long walks around Oxford trails and reading books in my hammock. I am a part of Miami's track and field and cross country team which is keeping me pretty occupied during the week. I am a pretty loud and outgoing person and I love meeting new people, especially from different cultures because I like hearing all the different traditions people have. One piece of advice I have for international students is to explore nature as much as you can. Oxford is a very small but beautiful town with many trails which are dying to be explored! I am enjoying my journey so much and I hope you will too. :)

Karim Sammouri

Hello everyone. My name is Karim Sammouri, and I'm a senior computer science major from Saudi Arabia. The times I've had in Miami are some of the best in my life. It's during college that most of us get to be in charge of our own lives for the first time. One piece of advice I have for you incoming international students is to start meeting people as soon as you settle in! They will be there for you when you need help and will make your experience much more exciting and memorable!

Sakshi Shah

Namaste, I'm Sakshi Shah. I'm a Senior studying Computer Science and I'm from Indore, India. I've loved my time at Miami but recently I've started organizing spiritual gatherings once a month, and seeing everything come together, and all my friends from different background having fun and enjoying a delicious vegetarian Indian meal has been one of the highlights. We are working on making it a student organization, so that after I graduate the journey can still continue.

One piece of advice I have for international students coming to the States is to try meeting as many new people from background different than yours as you can. Not everyone gets the chance to study abroad, so why not make the most of this opportunity! I wish you good luck.

Kayla Wood

Hey hey everyone, I'm Kayla Wood and I'm from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I'm a sophomore AYA Math Education major; however, I'm actually hoping to teach English as a second language (ESL) instead of math. Through Miami I'm currently tutoring English language learners at a high school in Hamilton. I absolutely love aiding them in their English skills, while simultaneously teaching them about the US culture and learning about their home cultures. I've also joined a service fraternity (APhiO) and have been able to participate in many activities and have met countless new people through that. My number one piece of advice would be to push your boundaries and try new things. You never know what you'll like or who you'll end up meeting. Put the effort in and I know you'll thrive here at Miami!

Bokai (Nik) Yang

Hey guys! My name is Nik Yang. I am a junior student majoring in ETBD, concentration in Game Design & Web Development. I'm an international student from China. This is actually my first time work as an iPOL, but I believe we will have a great time together! I like to work out, travel, equestrian, play basketball, tennis and video games. I am currently the vice-president of the Miami univeristy Design, Technology & Innovation club. Reach out to me if you also interested in this field! I learned lots of important skills from managing the club and building more connections. One important tip for y'all: Don't afraid to ask questions and reach out, don't be shy! Also, believe in yourself; self-doubt is your biggest enemy!


Graduate Students

Parisa Adifar

Hi folx, my name is Parisa Adlifar. I'm a third-year Ph.D. student in the Literature program. One thing that helped make my transition to the US academia smooth was building connections with people from all majors and different backgrounds. So, my one piece of advice is to start a conversation :)

 

FangLei Gao

I am FangLei, from Beijing, China. This is my fifth year in Miami. Cause I am doing the 4 + 1 program. My undergrad major is in psychology, and my master's is in educational psychology. The most memorable as a student in Miami would say the day I got my undergraduate degree diploma. The advice I would share with you as a new student is to start thinking about your future career, whether you are going to Ph.D. or finding a job after graduation and planning it. Please be ready and start reaching out for the opportunities.

Haniyeh Kheirkhah Abkenari

Hi, my name is Haniyeh Kheirkhah, and I'm from Iran. I'm going to be a second-year Ph.D. student at Miami studying Educational Leadership (LCC). I'm interested in diversity, multiculturalism, and international relations, which all are related to my major too and that's why I am here. I can't describe Miami in a word but it is a great place to thrive and brings you many opportunities to find more about your potentials that you might never think are capable of them. As a piece of advice for a smooth transition, take after yourself, keep in touch, communicate with others, and do not stop exploring as there is a lot to learn. I'm so excited to share my experiences and help to facilitate this journey for you.

Niloofar Mousavi

Hello there, Niloofar is my name. I'm a graduate architecture student in my second year at the School of Architecture and Interior Design. I like drawing, photography, meeting new acquaintances, and going on walks with my buddies. Playing with color is my favorite part of the day. I'd like to share with you that Oxford is a lively and eye-catching color palette. I've come to understand how wonderful my time in Miami has been, and I can't wait to share that with you.

One piece of advice I can give you is to move out of your willingness to try new things. I feel that fresh experiences will help us grow. Try new things and don't be frightened of failing. One of the best ways to make the most of your college years is to be open to new experiences. Remember to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.

Oluwaseun (Seun) Olubodun

I am a first-Year Ph.D. student in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, and I come from Ondo State, Nigeria.

I am the President of the Ambassador fellowship, the Campus Fellowship of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) here in Oxford. I enjoy playing host and welcoming people, I enjoy having people around me and I am interested in changing the narrative and creating a welcoming environment for all new international students. I am a part of a community that can hold your hands while you settle into your new environment.

The one piece of advice for international students who fly thousands of miles to Miami I would like to give is to be a part of a community. Being in isolation would not help you at all. It would be better if you find people you can get along with and can relate with, who can understand you and help you understand the new terrain you have just found yourself. Especially people who have passed through the same hurdles themselves.

Bamidele Osamika

Bamidele Emmanuel Osamika is a first year Master of Environmental Science student. He is a native of Ifira-Akoko, Ondo-State, Yorubaland, Nigeria.

His experience at Miami has been superb, ranging from his class activities especially professional service project (PSP) and environmental protocol courses to extracurricular activities such as biking. Weekend social activities also were very awesome including visit to Uptown, Cinema house, Jungle Jim's (International Market), Hueston Wood State Park among others, all have been memorable.

Bamidele hopes to become an Environmental Psychologist, researcher and community service provider after graduation, in order to solve problems related to waste collection, recycling and water pollution, to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of humans, animals and plants.

During semester break, Bamidele joins the Best Volunteers Butler Environmental Stewardship Team to remove invasive plant species such Amur honey suckle in conformity with the national policy to safeguard the nation's native preserves against the impact of invasive plant species.

His advice to you as you join the Love and Honor Family is that, know about all policies guiding your studentship, you should have a good relationship with your peers and professors, learn about the new culture, and manage your time effectively. You are welcome at Miami!

Nanci Reyes

Hi! my name is Nanci Reyes, I am from Mexico City. This is gonna be my third year at Miami as PhD student in the Geology Department. So far I can tell you Miami is a great university and Oxford is such a beautiful place to live! I am sure you will find a community from your own culture! I did find mine and so grateful for all the experiences. My advice to you is to explore Oxford and Miami in that way you will find your community and wonderful places. Hope to see you soon!

Prachi Wele

Hello & Namaskar, everyone! My name is Prachi Wele, and I am from Chandrapur, India. I am a second-year PhD student in the Biology Department. I am also a member of the Nu Rho Psi Honor Society at Miami University where we meet, learn, and discuss different research areas in neuroscience. As an international student, I can vouch that Oxford is a lovely small town and people are welcoming. Additionally, MU cares for its students and strives to support them. Therefore, two utmost suggestions for any new students would be to make good friends and to reach out to people whenever necessary. With that, I hope to see you during orientation, and all the best for a new phase in your life!

Anzhuo "Angel" Wu

Hello, my name is Angel (Anzhuo Wu):) I am an international graduate student from Guangdong, China, majoring in Educational Psychology. I was a formal national pro-fencing athlete beforehand. It is my great honor to be a part of IPOL. I hope that I can help you get speedy, including but not limited to campus adjustment, academic adaptation, and the transition to overseas life. Wishing you to enjoy life at Miami University!

Remain true to your original aspiration:)

Enjoy, Have Fun, and Don't forget to be awesome:)