Written by Nancy Tran ’26
Hello everyone, my name is Nancy, I’m a sophomore double majoring in Data Analytics and Environmental Studies, and I’m from Vietnam! I joined Denison as a Spring start student in January 2023, so Ohio welcomed me with the January snow when I first moved in!
On campus, I have been involved in Green Team and TEDxDenisonU. I also work as an Orientation Leader for this incoming class of 2027 and I am so excited to get to know you all!
It was super cold when I first arrived on campus, especially compared to the hot weather in Vietnam. My first impression of Denison was that the campus was so big and everything looked the same, so I got lost a couple of times. However, everyone’s really friendly and all the staff and faculty members always say hi and don’t hesitate to offer help. I also love how Denison offers services that help students balance academics and their social life. There are tons of academic resources, tutoring sessions, and opportunities to attend events and have fun!
Adjusting to life at Denison came with ups and downs since it always feels like you are handling and learning a lot on your own as an international student. But it has been a precious time for me, enriched with new experiences and valuable lessons, and I can proudly say that I have loved my time here and hope to grow more. In my upcoming years at Denison, I really can’t wait to make more friends, implement projects that I’m advocating for on campus, and immerse myself in academic and leadership opportunities. At the same time, I do want to build more connections with the faculty members and professors because I’m so grateful for them. As I invest my time and effort into the community here, Denison really helps me to adapt to a global environment and become a problem solver. It takes time initially, but I can’t wait to see the rewards!
I believe that incoming international students will get a lot of helpful and great pieces of advice when coming to Denison, especially through classes, making friends, joining on-campus organizations, and going to events. I’m happy to share with you 2 things from my own experience throughout my first semester at Denison.
First, things take time and it can be overwhelming during the first few weeks. Expect that you are going to make a few mistakes, be homesick, and feel pressured and lonely, but as long as you focus on self-development and getting immersed in the environment, it will be very rewarding. Second, I would say you should be financially literate. It will help a lot to learn about the U.S. payment methods and rewards, especially for college students. A good start might be having different savings or registering for a credit card, because it needs a lot of personal finance management during your college years. Asking Denison fellows, using the wellness center resources, and taking advantage of classes at Denison could be a way to help you get used to this as well!
Going to college in a whole different country, even a different continent, comes with various feelings, all sorts of commitments, and expectations, but I would say it’s also a really amazing journey. Keep believing in yourself that you will continue to do great in the next four years at your Home on the Hill. Welcome new Denisonians, enjoy your time!