My name is Ri You, a senior undergraduate student at the University at Albany. I am majoring in Accounting and minoring in Business Administration. I am from South Korea and have been in the USA since 2016. As an international student at UAlbany, it was a huge exploration journey for the last 4 years. I grew up in South Korea and spent my whole life in Korea before I came to the United States. My parents gave me a chance to see and experience a bigger world, and I decided to give a shot for this challenge. The people I met, the cultures that I encountered, the classes I took, other events at the University at Albany, and just everything in the States was new to me. These new journeys were making me more enthusiastic, but they were also challenging for me.
Getting along with foreign friends sometimes made me exhausted. Understanding their culture and communicating with a different language that I was not fluent in at all was so challenging to me. Also learning and taking classes in a different language was difficult. Moreover, I had no idea what I was interested in and what should I focus on to study during my undergraduate degree at the University at Albany. I came to college as an undecided student and thought I could find what I wanted to do.. But it took two and a half years to settle down. If I look back on this unstable and challenging journey that I’ve gone through, it is the most meaningful struggle that has made me who I am now.
When I was struggling with what to choose for my major and considering which career path I should take, first I needed to find what I was interested in. I always wanted to learn about the fashion and fashion industry since when I was in high school. Although UAlbany offered various courses, there were no courses in fashion design or fashion industry. Then I found out that our school had good study abroad programs and it came into my mind that, perhaps, I could study take some fashion courses by studying abroad. There were a few things that make me hesitate. First, for business majors it tough to get major courses approved. Secondly, I was already doing “study abroad” since I’m an international student. But despite these ideas, I decided to study abroad in Italy, Milan. I went to Bocconi University, which was a business school and they had courses related to the fashion industry that I wanted to take. I wanted to give myself another challenge and wanted to broaden my experience not only in the USA, but also in Europe. Through studying abroad, I found what I wanted to do and what I wanted to study. Moreover, I traveled around more than 15 countries during studying abroad. I also realized what I did not want to study. The experiences that I had during that semester helped me to plan my semesters after studying abroad, releasing my curiosity from my interest in the fashion industry to concentrate more on other aspects of business.
The University at Albany means a lot to me and it has given me valuable challenges and opportunities. I wanted to share my story and with other students and, especially international students at UAlbany. UAlbany Project MyStory was the perfect chance to share my journey and to give information to students and help them to adjust into this campus life.