Why did you decide to come to the U.S. to pursue your degree and, specifically, how did you decide to come to Philly, Drexel, and Materials?
I went to high school in Yorktown, VA. I enjoyed my high school life, so I decided to continue my education in the US. During high school, I was good at chemistry and physics, and I love doing experiments, so materials science and engineering is a perfect major for me since it's a heavily research-based area of study. When I came to Drexel, two of the classes I took in my first term, the Materials two-day Couse and Fundamentals of Materials, helped me confirm my interest in Materials.
Besides the fact that Drexel has really good engineering and research programs and a wide range of student organizations that I can join, I chose Drexel because gold and blue are my favorite colors and I have a special fondness for dragons. Also, after living in the Historic Triangle for several years, my ideal place to live and study is somewhere in a historic city, and Philly is a perfect place. Everything just clicked.
What are your favorite things about Philly?
The museums and theatres in Philly are amazing, and most of them offer student prices, which are pretty good deals. The $25 Philadelphia Orchestra membership and $10 Kimmel STIX tickets are the best things ever!
What is your typical schedule like during the week and weekend?
I try to pack my classes tight together during the day and have a day off in the middle of the week to relax and put my notes together for the week. Sometimes I take evening classes, but usually I have evenings free so I can go to workshops and other events or hang out with friends. I spend a lot of time in the Materials Lounge between classes/activities.
During the weekend, I usually go to concerts/plays or go to student organization events. I don't normally make weekends very busy.
What do you find are the biggest differences between your home country and the U.S.?
I don't think there are any big differences. I didn't need much transition other than getting used to the jetlag when I first came to the US.
What are your plans after graduation?
I'm planning on getting a Ph.D. degree next. It's hard to say what I want to do after that since the technologies are being developed so rapidly thanks to all the researchers and engineers.
How do you feel your Drexel Materials degree will prepare you for your post-graduation plans?
The Department of Materials and Drexel in general encourage undergraduate students to get involved in research programs and my experience in a research group has helped me confirm my initial desire of pursuing a Ph.D. degree. The B.S./M.S. program in Materials will also give me a taste of graduate coursework and research.
Drexel engineering courses have a great emphasis on technical writing and presentation from the very first engineering course freshman year. Those valuable experiences are beneficial no matter what my future career will be.
Do you have any advice for international students looking to study in the U.S.?
Since it's not feasible for all international students to visit the campus in the US before applying, when you have questions about anything related to the programs or admission in general, email the admissions office or the department. Also, if you would like to know something from a current student's perspective, there are peer mentors in the college and student organization leaders available to answer questions.