Qingyang Su, an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering, is an international student at the University of Iowa. Hailing from Beijing, China, Qingyang has embraced the opportunity to learn about American culture, meet new people, and challenge himself through research and teaching assistant experiences.
Hometown: Beijing, China
Field of study: computer engineering major; large data analytics certificate; mathematics minor; computer science minor
Campus leadership and involvement: Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity alum, Research Assistantship in the College of Engineering (topic: neuro ophthalmology image processing), Research Assistantship in the College of Public Health (topic: traffic safety and farm equipment), Teaching Assistantship in the College of Engineering (course: Computers in Engineering)
What are your impressions of Iowa?
My favorite thing about the University of Iowa is the people here. People here are just really friendly and nice. They are willing to help you out if you have problems. I have made a lot of friends here. Also, I really like the community of Iowa City because the university is not isolated from the town. It’s a really fun place, but there aren’t too many distractions to take me away from my studying. It’s a really good place to do academic research.
What is one of your favorite experiences at the University of Iowa?
During my first year at the UI, I made a friend, Will, who is from Iowa City. He invited me to his house to celebrate Easter. I learned the tradition of finding Easter eggs in his garden. I got to meet Will’s sister, parents, and also his dog named Ginger. We played soccer – Ginger played soccer with us, too! I enjoyed my time a lot.
Are you a Hawkeye fan?
While at the University of Iowa, I got the chance to watch my very first football game. At first, I didn’t really understand what it was, but a friend helped me to understand the rules and what the goal is. I looked around Kinnick Stadium and saw die-hard Hawkeye fans who were cheering so hard for the Hawkeyes. I’ve started to like football since then!
Have you had a chance to explore the United States?
I certainly study a lot at the University of Iowa, but there are still breaks when I can explore the United States. During my first spring break, I traveled to Chicago with one of my friends. I also got a chance to visit Yosemite National Park in California. The views there were awesome. I’ve seen the Arch in St. Louis, and also visited a state park in Duluth, Minnesota. The snow in Minnesota was like an adventure – it was so nice!
You studied abroad in Hong Kong during a summer session. How did you decide to study abroad?
Yes! International students can study abroad, too! I wanted to study abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology because it’s an international campus and gave me an opportunity to meet people from all over the world. When I was in Hong Kong, I met people from Europe, the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia, and India. It’s very interesting to meet people from these places and to become friends with them. It’s great to know their cultures and to explore viewpoints from different people. I consider myself a global citizen after talking with them and getting exposed to more global issues.
Do you have any words of wisdom for future international students at the University of Iowa?
My advice for other international students is to try to engage in activities. Try to explore everything – even if you think it might not interest you. If you don’t try it, you never know! Also, try to study hard and get to know your professors. Meet new people – they might be your future best friends!