International, exchange students adjust to Linfield

Vince van’t Hoff

Freshman Vince van’t Hoff has traveled to many different countries with his parents. Van’t  Hoff was accepted into the Fulbright program, and they gave him a list of 13 universities they saw him fitting in well with in America.

“I applied for five universities,” van’t Hoff said, “and I got accepted into all.”

He finally decided on Linfield because he had visited the area before and remembered how beautiful it was.

This is van’t Hoff’s first year in college and he still isn’t sure what he wants to study. Although he has a few classes he has found interesting.

“I like psych and communications,” van’t Hoff said, “not like mass communication but how people behave and how they communicate.”

Culturally, van’t Hoff has noticed a difference in how friends communicate here  compared to Holland.

“[Americans] don’t say everything,” van’t Hoff said. “In Holland, my friends said everything that came into their minds, all the stupid things. Here, they’re more careful in what they say.”

Van’t Hoff only has a visa that will allow him to stay in the United States for a year, but he is planning to apply to scholarships in order to be able to study at Linfield next year.

Nohheon Park

Sophomore Nohheon Park studied at a university in the middle of Seoul, South  Korea. He decided to study at Linfield for two semesters because he wanted to experience somewhere different from his university back at home.

“I also wanted to experience small classes,” said Park, who is a business major. “The biggest class that I am taking has 14 students. The major classes in Korea have at least 70.”

Park is happy that the professors here at Linfield know his name, because in his university in Korea, professors teach about three classes a day, each with 70 or more students.

“I also wanted it to be a private school not a public school,” Park said about his decision to attend Linfield.

A senior at his university had also studied abroad at Linfield and recommended it to Park.

“He said that Linfield was good,” Park said, “that it was a small college, and the people were kind.”

After this year, Park will return to South Korea and finish his schooling. Credits can be easy to transfer, but if there are no classes in South Korea that matches his classes at Linfield, Park will have to look at the syllabi and curriculums of two classes to persuade the university to give him credit.

Stian Melheim

For senior  Stian Melheim, also known as Steve, this is his last year in college. He came to study abroad at Linfield from Norway.

“I chose the U.S. because people here are open-minded and interested in each other,” Melheim said. “In my home, people aren’t nearly as social.”

Melheim also explained that he did not face much of a cultural shock, having learned about the United States of America’s culture through movies and TV shows in Norway.

The hardest task Melheim had to confront quickly became all the homework he has received from classes here.

“In college in Norway, you don’t do homework. Most of the courses just have finals,” Melheim said. “I hadn’t done homework since 2006. You sort of have to do it in a specific way. Mostly, it’s the whole time management thing. It might be easier for someone who is a first year in college.”

This summer, when Melheim graduates he plans to move back to Norway. Melheim is still unsure of what he will do after school.

“I will probably try to find a job,” Melheim said. “I might go for a masters later, but I want to get an income first.”

Xiaochun “Amanda” Ma

Linfield isn’t the first place that freshman Xiochuan “Amanda” Ma has studied abroad.

She attended a public school in Minnesota and a Catholic private school Wisconsin her junior and senior year respectively. Ma was born in China and lived in the city of Jinan before studying abroad.

She chose Linfield College during her senior year in Wisconsin because she’d heard about it from a family friend.  The financial aid here at Linfield also made it an easy choice.

“I was just like why not,” Ma said about her decision to attend Linfield, “since I was already familiar with the educational system here.”

Ma enjoys the liberal atmosphere that the Northwest has to offer. At her Catholic private school in Wisconsin, she attended mass with the rest of the class. At Linfield, there are no religious obligations.

Ma spends every summer by returning to China with her family.

With the experience from her time abroad it made her used to living in the United States.

“It’s hard to go back to China,” Ma said.

Ma finds time zones in the United States interesting because China has one time zone based on its capital city, Beijing.

“I have a friend in Florida,” Ma said, “and even in the same country it is two hours of time difference.”

Gilberto Galvez/Features editor

Gilberto Galvez can be reached at [email protected]