The University of Iowa

Paige Ho on her sense of community at the University of Iowa

March 31st, 2021

Paige Ho, double-major in journalism and marketing from Vietnam, calls the University of Iowa her ‘home away from home.’ The honors student is heavily involved on campus through leadership roles in student organizations and student employment. She kindly shared thoughts about her UI experience – read on below.

Image of Paige Ho, University of Iowa student

How did you choose to attend the University of Iowa?

I originally wanted to come to the University of Iowa because of the communication studies major but after the meeting with my academic advisor, I realized that I was more drawn to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. And as I get more involved with campus activities such as student organizations and on-campus employment, I just know that the University of Iowa is where I can call my home away from home.

What do you do as an International Ambassador for the UI Office of Admissions?

As an International Ambassador for the UI Office of Admissions, I have the chance to represent the University of Iowa as an international student to communicate with prospective upcoming students. It is such a great honor for me to be able to talk to other students to share my experience here at the university and be a part of their application process.

You work in International Programs as a Life in Iowa assistant. Can you tell us about the Life in Iowa program?

Life in Iowa provides ongoing virtual orientation and learning activities for international students throughout the year. Topics have covered celebrating American cultural holidays such as Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving; partnering with other UI offices to provide informational programs such as interviewing for jobs and writing resumes, how to apply for graduate school, or what the Honors program is; and fun social events, virtually. I help with planning and coordinating the events as well as working with other staff from International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). I also get the chance to meet and talk with a lot of international students on campus.

Image of Paige Ho

You are a board member for the Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS). Can you tell us a little bit about OASIS and your role in the organization?

OASIS strives to provide a community for both international students and domestic students to get to know each other. We also host events such as the Multicultural Showcase to celebrate cultures from all around the world. I am the event director for OASIS. My role is to work with events that we host throughout the semester. While COVID-19 has made it difficult to organize events, our executive board is still striving to provide the best experience for our members.

Are you involved with other organizations on campus?

I’m a sister and the academic chair of alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority Inc. At first, I didn’t really know anything about sorority or Greek life, but aKDPhi has grown on me over time. I realize that every sister shares a strong bond and always has each other’s back. Coming into college, I always wanted to have that support system that I now find in aKDPhi. I also appreciate how sisters always push me to be a better version of myself and also give back to the community. Looking back, I’m so grateful that I joined aKDPhi and now receive love and support with everything I do.

How have you been doing with the Covid pandemic? Did you employ any coping strategies?

At the beginning of the pandemic, I found it hard to do online learning since I was back in Vietnam and had to deal with the time difference. However, as I continue to adjust to study online, I’ve come to recognize what works best for me in terms of organizing time tables for classes and engaging in the academic materials. One piece of advice that I would give to upcoming international students is don’t stress yourself out with online learning, try to find what works best for you while still maintaining your mental health. It’s a hard time for everyone and I want everyone to know that the University is here for them.