Can a Nebraska Business student find success completing his studies halfway around the world? According to Xiangyuan Su, a finance major forced to study from his home in Hangzhou, China, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’.
“Stay away from your cell phone, get enough sleep, plan ahead and work ahead,” said Su, when discussing tips for staying in sync with his coursework. He stays connected with classmates through video sessions and Canvas discussion boards. He also uses the messaging app WeChat to get to know other international students at Nebraska.
Su, who hails from his hometown of Tai’an, participates in the partnership degree program that exists between Nebraska and Zhejiang University City College. He hoped to finish his bachelor’s degree on campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, but the pandemic thwarted those plans so far. A mixture of synchronous classes (attending simultaneous with classmates) and asynchronous classes (completing work independently) allow him to meet the challenge of being entirely online.
Mikki Sandin, international business and inclusion coordinator, received an introductory poster presentation from Su at the beginning of the semester. Su’s warm personality and desire to connect with the Big Red experience made an impression immediately. The impression grew stronger through the year.
“Xiangyuan’s smiling presence in each class was a welcome sight as students engaged in this hybrid course for first semester international students studying business,” said Sandin. “His discussion posts in Canvas encouraged and motivated other students to approach this situation with positivity, a trait that helped Xiangyuan be successful in the college this fall. His Husker spirit is brimming with excitement to come in person as soon as possible.”
Su’s interests range from diverse subjects as varied as baking, brain science, international foods and automobiles. It allows him to find something in common with all of his classmates.
Jane Miller, a lecturer for Programs in English as a Second Language, applauded Su and the other distance students in her class as “active participants, although there are days when I can tell that they are struggling with the huge time difference.”
She also noted Su and his classmates’ preparedness.
“Access to the instructor and classmates is much more limited, so they need to have their questions prepared before class, or quickly grab the opportunity during class, or arrange to meet me via Zoom at a different time,” Miller said.
As he wraps up the fall semester, Su remains optimistic of coming to Nebraska in the spring.
“I look forward to a fruitful and productive college experience,” he said.
To learn more about the international student experience and resources at the College of Business, visit: https://business.unl.edu/international