Name: Yousra Awad
From: Alexandria, Egypt
Studying: Majoring in Computer Science and Business, Cluster in Music Theory
How did you hear about the University of Rochester? What impacted your decision to apply?
I decided to study in the US in my junior year of high school. This was when I started college searching and learned about Rochester for the first time. I attended one of the Research Rochester sessions and I absolutely fell in love with it! Later, I found out that there’s a few alumni from my high school who were Rochester students, and talking to these people really impacted my decision to apply. I was also drawn to the undergraduate research opportunities here as well as the Cluster System. I’ve always been interested in so many different things, and having the freedom to learn about them during college is amazing!
Describe the student body at Rochester.
It’s very diverse! I’ve met people from different parts of the world and got to know about their culture and experiences! I still remember how my roommate (who’s Bengali) and I would spend hours talking about similarities in our cultures; it was lots of fun!!
How did you develop a community of friends on campus?
I’d say hall programs helped me a lot in making friends here. Especially as a first-year, you get to participate in a lot of hall programs which are organized by RAs/D’Lions. Orientation week was also full of fun activities that gave me the chance to know my peers more!
What was your experience like adjusting to life on River Campus as an international student?
I knew a few people before coming to Rochester, so I adjusted fairly quickly to the community. Academically, however, I had a hard time at the beginning. College classes are challenging, but the University does a great job at offering academic support resources like CETL(1:1 tutoring) and study groups. Once you get the hang of it and seek help when needed, you’ll do great!
What advice would you give to an incoming international student?
Take it easy, be open, and enjoy your time! Studying in a new country is a great and rewarding experience, so make sure to make the most out of it!
What’s one resource on campus that you recommend that other international students should take advantage of and why?
CETL is one of my favorite campus resources, because you get personalized help to a variety of classes. We all come from different education systems, so this resource is particularly useful in making that transition a lot smoother.
What do you do on campus or around Rochester when you’re not studying or in class? How did you initially get involved in those things?
I go to Java’s (a small coffee shop near Eastman) or I play computer games at Rettner (there’s an incredible computer lab for gaming and students arrange gaming tournaments every now and then).
What’s your favorite campus tradition and why?
Celebrate Diversity! It usually happens at Eastman School of Music during orientation week. Basically, it’s a series of performances from different students’ groups on campus that showcase the diversity of the student body at Rochester. An absolutely wonderful experience that I’ll never forget!
What’s your favorite thing to do off campus?
I really enjoy going to Eastman School of Music and Downtown Rochester!
What’s your favorite place on campus and why?
Right now, my favorite place is probably Carlson Library. It’s usually not too busy and the noise level is just perfect. There’s a quiet space too, and the library is close to the engineering quad, where most of my classes are located.