International student uses her experience to help other international students pursue studies in the United States
Born and raised in China until she was 12 years old, Yihe “Lala” Liu '14 had been living with her family in the African country of Botswana when Arcadia caught her eye on a College Board search of American universities. Enticed by small class sizes and the potential for individualized learning, Lala applied.
In completing her individualized education plan consisting of double majors in History Education and French, Lala has benefitted from the personal attention of her academic adviser, history professor Dr. Geoff Haywood, who she describes as an advocate for students. He has helped her navigate the challenges of pursuing two majors while also finding time to study abroad in Paris by working closely with both the Education and Modern Languages departments on her behalf, even recommending a faculty adviser for her French thesis, adjunct history professor Mr. Robert Wagner. Though Dr. Haywood stands out in her experience, Lala describes the entire department as “vibrant,” “energetic,” and “very engaging between themselves and with the students.”
Lala also found support from the Office of International Affairs (OIA) during her time at Arcadia, saying with a laugh, “[They] basically took care of everything I needed the first semester.” OIA coordinated everything from a week staying with a host family to helping her navigate campus and the surrounding area. From an international student’s perspective, Arcadia was remarkably welcoming, offering encouragement and fostering community through organizations such as International Club and Asia Club. Lala also works for OIA and applies skills learned in that office, such as liaising between OIA and international parents and students, to an internship with International Educational Opportunities in Jenkintown, which helps other international students navigate education in the United States.
Though experiences like her internship have Lala pursuing a career path more directly linked with education, she says her history degree will continue to be relevant.
“History helped me to understand the structure of researching and learning about a problem,” she said. “You look at the whole story…you see where it comes from and where it is going. I don’t think I’ll ever give up history, because I love it.”
Historical & Political Studies
Easton Hall, Room 231
Dr. Peter Siskind, Dept. Chair