Kristen Chung, '13
Kristen Chung, '13, left, with sister Jacqueline Chung, '13
Name: Kristen Chung, '13
Hometown: Dubai, UAE
Major: Biology, minor in French
Activities: Tour guide, Smooth Transitions student mentor, membership coordinator for Best Buddies, public relations officer for the International Student Union (ISU), Student Alumni Association, FIT group coordinator and overnight host, peer advisor for international students.
Why did you choose Albion? Tell us about your path to Albion and what attracted you.
I chose Albion because of the admission director of international students, whom I had met in Dubai when I attended an American university fair. He was the nicest college representative and a perfect example of what Albion’s faculty and community are all about. I also liked the idea of FURSCA and having a one-on-one relationship with professors.
What is your best Albion memory or experience?
My best memory at Albion was when my friend (who is from the UP) invited my sister and me to her house in Kingsford to spend Thanksgiving with her family. I am glad that I said yes. If I had not, things would have turned out a lot differently today. They openly welcomed us into their family. Today the Rigonis are our second family. We like to refer to them as our “American Mom and Dad.” We have had the most wonderful Thanksgiving experiences. But more importantly we made a friend for life. Today my mom and Alicia’s mom correspond on a daily basis. They live in two different parts of the world but it feels like they have always known each other.
Then through Alicia we were able to become friends with her roommate (who is also from the UP) who introduced us to her family, the Tomasis, and whose family has become our other American family. We love them very much. We have seen so many places and done so many things in the U.S. because of their kindness and love and selflessness. I hope someday that I will be able to repay their kindness.
What are your future plans, at Albion and beyond?
I would like to pursue a career in health care and go to a graduate school in the U.S. Then when I have made enough money I would like to become one of Albion’s alumni donors. I would like to make my educational experience and leaning opportunity at Albion accessible to future students. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of many of Albion College’s donors, I am able to have the best college experience ever.
How have financial aid and scholarships helped you?
Without financial aid and scholarships, many international students like myself would have found it very expensive and impossible to be able to study at Albion College and in the U.S. I would have been so disappointed if money was the factor that affected my ability to attend Albion College. I am as able-bodied and hard-working as other students who can afford a quality education. There are many students out in the world who would give anything to study in the U.S., but because they cannot afford it they miss out on the opportunity to be a part of a healthy learning environment where they can showcase their talents and be taught by some of the brightest minds, and ultimately get a good job and be able to be self-sufficient and independent.
How would you finish this sentence? “Because you (donors, alumni, parents) give to Albion, I’m able to…”
Because you give to Albion, I am able to have the best college experience and the highest quality of education. I have been given the opportunity to mature into a self- supporting and responsible individual. I am able to meet some of the cleverest and nicest people ever and learn so many things from them. I am able to live my dream of studying in the U.S. Thank you donors!
Please describe your experience as an international student.
One of my best experiences in being an international student at Albion was in my freshman year when I was chosen to read the pledge at our matriculation ceremony. It was a great feeling to stand up at the head of the beautiful Goodrich Chapel and take the oath along with my felllow graduating class of 2013. I was also the first student to sign my name in the book. I felt so special. If I could go back and do something all over again, it would have to be that.
I also love the fact that every Friday is International Coffee Hour where all the international students hang out with one another. I like learning about different cultures and I like teaching other people about my unique cultural background. With Albion College I visited Chicago and attended a Red Wings game in Detroit.