Student Testimonials

Letters from the HEART to prospective international students from international students & alumni of SHU

Students from: Brazil | China | Germany | Japan | JordanMexico

Brazil

Bruno Orlandini '16 | Sao Paulo | Finance & Investment Management

Bruno OrlandiniWhy grad school?
I always had a dream of working in Investment Bank, but as we all know this industry is extremely competitive. I knew that having an undergrad degree from a small school in South Carolina and with limited work experience my odds were not favorable, and that it would be very hard to compete against Ivy League graduates. Therefore, I decided that going to grad school was my best option in order to further develop my education and better position myself in the job market - and I was right about it. I already received a full-time offer from a well-known Investment Bank firm and I will be soon starting my dream job.

How did you find the right program for you?
I was looking for a program where I would have: I) Best practices on theoretical knowledge (CFA track), II) practical and applied exercises that reflects real life situations (Bloomberg, Cap IQ, etc),  III) Proximity to NYC and other major hedge funds. On top of that, the Masters of Finance & Investment Management at SHU classifies as STEM course and provides all foreigns an extended working experience opportunity upon graduation.

How does it compare to your undergrad experience?
I believe that students on grad school are more mature and more willing to learn and share experiences. A very positive aspect of my graduate experience is that I was always learning, not only with the professors but also with other students that have different experiences and backgrounds. Also, grad school emphasizes more on the underline thinking rather than getting the correct answer by itself. In other words, at the end of the day you will probably forget a formula you have learned but you won't forget the thinking process behind it.

What advice can you offer other (would-be) graduate students?
My advice to other graduate students would be to work hard, be organized, and most importantly to interact with other people. Students will be surprised to know how much one can learn inside and outside the classroom simply by leaving the comfort zone and looking for different experiences. I've learned a lot by interacting with people that have different beliefs, values, and background- that's my main advice. Don't be shy!!

China

Gabriel LiuGabriel Liu '14 | Beijing | Computer Science

5 years ago, I packed all my dreams and came to the USA, just like many other international students. As an undergrad I didn't even pass CET - 4, coming to study and live in an English speaking country was extremely challenging. So my first goal when I just got here was to learn English and get know more about American culture, this was the first reason of many that I decided to attend Sacred Heart University. After I finished my English study, I decided to continue with my master’s degree in Computer Science.

Studying in another language environment and culture is different; thankfully, the professors, faculty, and students here helped me throughout the whole time. Unlike the research I did online before I arrived here, which was all about how hard to make friends to the native speakers, I found out that making friends at SHU is very easy, as long as you go to talk to them. The students here are very nice and easygoing. The university provides a lot of places for students to hangout, and many types of clubs ranging from academic clubs, to media, sports, social, volunteering, theater, art, music, volunteering and many more!  

The class choices at Sacred Heart University are very flexible. You can choose any classes you are interested in and from there SHU will help to figure out your major. Also, the professors are very friendly and considerate. During class, the professors are always trying to lead the students to think more individually. In my experience, you could ask any questions at any time when you have difficulty understanding the topic. The professors are always willing to explain. Not only just that, but you can also make an appointment with any professor to talk about your problems, about the class, ask for advice for registering classes, or even personal issues. I myself was a very good friend with my professors, they have had given me a plenty of advice. This friendship continues even when I graduated last year. They have created so many opportunities for me, helping me get a job in Manhattan last summer, and also creating a program for the university health center to help expecting mothers to know about how to teach their babies to walk. All these amazing opportunities and learning experiences definitely were a huge help when I was looking for a full time job before I graduated, and all of these have been because of Sacred Heart University.

My life at SHU was way more interesting than what I expected. The language barrier posed a problem for the first 3 to 4 months of my life at SHU and it was very hard, I was not be able to talk to people, and even buy the sandwich I wanted. I remember there were many times I had questions about something, and I always went to find the faculty, Cori and Sam in the international admission department became my friends and helped me a lot. In my free time, I hungout at Hawley Lounge where students can play pool or watch TV. Beyond that, it was also the place where I met most of my friends, and I am living with 2 of them now.

After I graduated last year, I found a job at FactSet Research System headquartered in Norwalk CT, a multinational financial data and software company. Looking for a job is not an easy task especially as a software engineer. The market has raised the bar very high, but luckily, with two years master’s classes and hard work, after almost 6 hours interview which include 4 hours technical rounds, I got the offer package after within 2 hours. It has been more than a year since I started my job. During the past year, I continue using the skills, academic skills, ability to learn new technologies, and adaptability, I learned from SHU, not just helpful during the interview, I have been using it ever since. I am proud of being a pioneer, and so glad I decided to choose Sacred Heart University. The feelings I have for SHU is beyond words can explain, perhaps you would only know unless you experience yourself.

5年前,我和所有留学生一样怀揣着梦想来到美国,但现实却是大学毕业后我连四级都没有过,来到一个完全靠英语生活和学习的国度对我来说是一个极大的挑战。因此我的第一个目标就是尽快的学好英语,尽可能多的熟悉美国文化,这也是我到圣心大学的原因。在完成了语言课程后,我决定继续留在这里攻读计算机科学专业的硕士学位。从圣心大学的科研生活中我学到了许多专业知识。

在另一种语言环境和文化下学习的感觉是非常不同的,值庆幸的是我的教授,导员和同学一直都在给予我帮助。并不像很多调查中说的那样很难与当地人成为朋友,我感觉只要你愿意和他们去交流,在SHU交朋友是非常容易的,这里的同学都非常的友好和随和。学校也给学生们提供了许多交流的场所,有许多不同种类的社团,像学术类的社团,媒体类社团,娱乐和社交俱乐部,戏剧艺术类项目等等。

圣心大学的课程选择是非常灵活的。你可以选择任何一门自己所感兴趣的课程,学校会从中帮助学生选择适合他们的专业。上课的教授总会试图引导学生更多的进行独立思考。依据我上课的经验,当遇到任何难懂的问题时都可以随时提出,教授都将愿意解答。不仅如此,你还可以预约教授讨论你的问题,像是课程注册的一些建议,甚至是一些私人问题。我和我的导师是很好的朋友,他们给予了我许多建议,这份友谊到我毕业以后还在维持着。他们也给了我很多机会,例如去年暑假在纽约曼哈顿的工作和大学健康中心的一个帮助母亲了解如何教导她们的孩子走路程序的项目。这些所有的机会与学习经验无疑在我找工作的时候起到了很大的作用。而这些,都是圣心大学提供给我的。

在圣心大学里的生活远比我想象中的有趣。语言上的障碍在开始的3到4个月中是我的一个大问题,我无法与当地人民交谈,甚至买不到一块三明治。我很清楚地记得,我遇到问题经常去寻求国际学生处的Cori和Sam的帮助。而他们,现在已成为我的好朋友,在当时伸出了援手,让我感受到异国他乡的温暖。另外,在我的休闲时间里,我会去Hawley Lounge打桌球或看电视。圣心大学让我遇见了很多朋友,我甚至现在还与其中的两个住在一起。

去年毕业以后,我成为FactSet研究系统公司总部的一员。FactSet坐落在美国康涅狄格州诺瓦克,是一家为全球主要金融机构的分析员、证券管理员和投资银行家提供相关金融数据和分析的公司。求职过程并不容易,尤其是去寻找一份软件工程师的工作。市场的激烈竞争已经把入职的门槛提得很高了。但幸运的是,经过两年硕士的积淀,在6小时的面试(其中4小时是技术面)后的两小时内,这家公司向我跑出了橄榄枝。到现在,我踏入职场已经有一年多了。在这一年里,从圣心大学里学到的各种技能以及适应能力帮助了我很多,影响深远。

我很自豪能成为先锋者,也很满意自己当初选择了圣心大学。我对圣心大学的感情无法用语言来表达,这种感情只有亲身经历过的人才能够体会。

Germany

Lea LiebLea Lieb ’17 | Sonthofen | Business Management & Women’s Volleyball

Studying in the US is completely different than going to a university in for example Europe. If you are open to a new, fully American experience, or simply “the real college experience”, this is the right place for you. If you think of yourself as outgoing, enjoy challenges and are easily adjusting to a new environment, you will have a great time. Americans are extremely welcoming and friendly. It is important to adjust to their culture, since you are going to be the one wanting to make friends with them, and to fit in. It might get hard sometimes, to feel like being the only one who is different. But my advice for those times are reaching out to other international students. Even if you can’t find them on campus, there are tons of Au pairs living in the area with their own international communities. Just to give yourself a break, it is a convenient option to hang out with people from the same place you are from!

Sacred Heart is a school with extremely comforting student services including all areas from admissions to the professors who email you about every assignment and remind you of due dates. Like I said in the beginning, everyone is extremely friendly and knows you by name, which makes you feel welcomed. Public safety does a great job securing SHU's students, a fact I am not used to from Germany since our schools are in the city centers with plenty of people hanging around campus at all times. 

[...] I went to a small Junior college in Florida, where I finished my Associate's degree which I started in Texas the year before. The volleyball coach saw me playing on video and decided to recruit me for the division one volleyball team at SHU. I had a last choice between them and Bryant University in Providence, but had such a good feeling on my official visit that I didn't give it second thoughts, but committed right away. It was the different and unique atmosphere on campus that made a difference: everyone I was in touch with, if it was my future teammates, the staff on campus or students I briefly met, was extremely welcoming and friendly, and everyone would hold doors open for each other. Whoever I asked told me why they are still very happy they chose Sacred Heart as a place to do their bachelor's degree in an environment that feels more like family and not like school.

Fuer jemanden der eine komplett andere Erfahrung fuer ein Studium sucht, ist Amerika die richtige Option. Man darf sich nicht vorstellen wie in Europa an ein Stadtzentrum gebunden zu sein, mit all den lokalen Angeboten. Amerikanische Staedte bestehen aus sogenannten Plazas, und haben normalerweise nichts mit den Schulen zu tun. Universitaeten sind ihre ganz eigene kleine Einheit, mit zahlreichen Angeboten, ob im Sport oder anderen Aktivitaeten. Wenn du dich selbst als jemanden einstufst, der auf andere zugeht, offen fuer Neues ist, und sich leicht an ein fremdes Umfeld anpasst, wirst du definitiv eine positive Erfahrung haben. Doch so wohl man sich fuehlt, manchmal kann es trotzdem vorkommen, dass man sich einsam fuehlt als einzig “anderer” aus einer fremden Kultur. Fuer mich war es sehr wichtig auch ein paar internationale Freunde zu haben, mit denen man ich ueber meine Eindruecke austauschen konnte. Auch wenn Sacred Heart nicht allzu viele international Studenten hat, habe ich in der Umgebung viele Au pairs gefunden, die sich mindestens genauso freuten eine Verbindung zu mir, und dadurch meiner Uni, aufzubauen, wie ich mich freute einen Zugang zu einer amerikanischen Familie zu geniessen.

Der Vorteil als Deutsche nach Amerika zu gehen ist der deutliche Unterschied des typischen Amerikaners zu uns. So sehr man uns als Ernst, kalt und unnahbar einstuft, so sieht man die Amerikaner al sein extrem offense, freundliches und manchmal oberflaechliches Volk an. Das ist durchaus positiv um sich schnell wohlzufuehlen fuer jemanden aus einem anderen Land. Man fuehlt sich schnell aufgenommen und lernt leicht Leute kennen, die einen in ihre Gruppe einbinden.

Ich fuehlte mich zu keiner Zeit nicht sicher, weder in Deutschland, noch hier. Die Polizei am Campus, “Public Safety”, traegt dazu wahrscheinlich einen grossen Teil bei. Falls irgendetwas waere, sind zahlreiche Officers vor Ort um Hilfe zu leisten. 

[…] Meine ersten zwei jahre bin ich auf sogenannte Junior colleges gegangen, das erste Jahr in Texas und dann in Florida. Der volleyball Trainer an der Sacred Heart hat mich auf einem der Videos spielen gesehen, und mich auf einen offiziellen Besuch eingelanden, um mir die Universitaet vorzustellen. Der Campus hat mich dann sehr beeindruckt. Nicht nur gefiel mir die Naehe zu New York City, sondern auch der besondere Umgang der Menschen miteinander. Es fuehlte sich sehr familiaer an, als wuerden sich alle untereinander persoenlich kennen- ob Studenten, Professoren oder Angestellte. Mir fiel besonders auf, wie man sich gegenseitig Tueren offen hielt auch wenn der andere nicht direct hinter einem war. Ich entschied mich dann direkt dort, dass ich Teil dieser Atmosphere werden wollte, und unterschrieb den offiziellen Vertrag dem Team im folgenden Jahr beizutreten. 

Japan

Kotomi MizutaniKotomi Mizutani '17 | Tokyo | Art & Design

Hello, my name is Kotomi Mizutani. I graduated from Keio University, Tokyo, Japan where I got BA of economics and then moved to the US to pursue my dream to work as a designer. I am majoring in Art & Design concentrating both graphic design and illustration. Since Sacred Heart University is close to NY, I can easily go to museums or events inspiring me in NY on weekends and I can focus on my study on weekdays which I think is the best environment for me. Also, the classes are not either too big or small, so that I can always go ask questions to my professors and classmates give me some great feedback on my designs which help me a lot. Besides classes, I am working at the International Admissions as a work study, where I support new international students and prospect students. The experience there help me blush up my English skill and it is a great opportunity to communicate with a lot of people. SHU helps your career as well, so I will do my best to pursue my dream to work as a designer.

水谷琴美です。私は2014年に慶応義塾大学経済学部を卒業しました。その後デザイナーとして働きたいという夢を実現させる為にアメリカに渡り、現在Sacred Heart UniversityのArt&Design学部でGraphic DesignとIllustrationを専攻しています。SHUはNYからも近い事からNYの美術館やイベントなどに参加する事もでき、また平日は学業に専念して取り組む事ができるので、私にとって最適の学校だと思っています。ひとクラスの大きさも生徒の数は多すぎず少なすぎず、何か困った事があればすぐに教授に質問する事が出来、更に色んな生徒の視点からフィードバックをもらえるので授業はとても充実しています。また、私は現在International Admissionsでwork studyとして授業の合間に働いており、新しい留学生やこれから入学を考えている生徒のサポートを行っています。ここでの経験は英語スキルの上達だけでなく様々な人とコミュニケーションをとる良い機会になり、とても良かったなと思っています。卒業後の進路も教授やキャリアセンターなどを通じてサポートを行ってくれるので、夢のデザイナーデビューを迎えられるように頑張りたいと思います。

Jordan

Abdel AbunarAbdel Abunar '18 | Jordan | Computer Science

My name is Abdelrahman Abunar, and I was born in the United States but was raised in Amman, Jordan. I have lived in both Jordan and Jerusalem and I am currently an international student here at Sacred Heart University. Growing up in the Middle East was not easy, but I loved it because it is my home and the place of all my memories. As I got older I started to consider the options of studying in another country to get a higher education. At first, my parents disagreed and didn’t want me to study outside of the country, but eventually they agreed to let me come to the United States with the help of the great people who work in the International Admissions here at Sacred Heart University. After coming to Sacred Heart, I have made many new friends here from all over the world and have loved the welcoming community at Sacred Heart. I have met people from the same country as me as well as people from Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. I am very happy with my choice to come to Sacred Heart University and have made many memories here and hopefully more to come! 

اسمي عبد الرحمن أبو نار، وأنا ولدت في الولايات المتحدة، ولكن أثيرت في عمان، الأردن. لقد عشت في كل من الأردن والقدس وأنا حاليا طالب دولي هنا في جامعة ساكرد هارت. ينشأون في الشرق الأوسط لم يكن سهلا، لكنني أحب ذلك لأنه هو بيتي ومكان كل ذكرياتي. كما حصلت على كبار السن، بدأت النظر في الخيارات دراسة في بلد آخر للحصول على التعليم العالي. في البداية، اختلف والدي ولم أكن أريد لي للدراسة خارج البلاد، ولكن في نهاية المطاف أنها وافقت على السماح لي أن تأتي إلى الولايات المتحدة بمساعدة الشعب العظيم الذين يعملون في القبول الدولية هنا في جامعة ساكرد هارت. بعد الوصول إلى ساكرد هارت، لقد جعلت الكثير من الاصدقاء الجدد هنا من جميع أنحاء العالم، وأحب المجتمع الترحيب في ساكرد هارت. لقد اجتمع الناس من نفس البلد كما لي وكذلك الناس من أفريقيا وآسيا وأوروبا وأمريكا الجنوبية. أنا سعيد جدا مع خياري أن يأتي إلى جامعة ساكرد هارت، وجعلت الكثير من الذكريات هنا ونأمل المزيد في المستقبل انشاء الله

Mexico

Hector GutierrezHector Gutierrez '18 | Veracruz | English & Global Studies

I'm Hector Gutierrez and I'm an international student here at Sacred Heart. I'm also a member of the DI golf team, the Honors Program, and part of the club "La Hispanidad". My quest to continue my college career in the United States was an important decision that I wanted to be sure was the right one. Among all my options, SHU stood out as a the best place for me to continue my academic and athletic careers for several reasons. As a student, I have found a very enriching environment in the school that helps me learn more inside and outside of the classroom. The professors are great, the classes are very interesting, and everyone is very passionate about learning. In such a short time, I have learned about the importance the school gives to the uniqueness each student brings to this place. There is something for everyone; whether it's a club, a sport, or a student organization. The school always brings comedy shows, plays films, hosts interesting speakers, and organizes outings so there is always something going on at SHU. A big part of a student-athlete's success in college comes from maintaining a balance between athletics and academics. Playing sports in college can be very challenging but it has become one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far because of all the support you get from everyone. It is hard to leave home to go to a complete different country and get adjusted to a new culture. Everyone I have met has been extremely supportive in helping me get adapted to this new environment and I have really enjoyed getting to know more about the people, place, and culture. Teachers and students are very welcoming of the international students and enthusiastically help you feel at home. Whether it is in the classroom, golf course, or in the dorms there is a sense of home that I have found here in Sacred Heart and I am very excited for what the rest of my time here will bring.

Mi nombre es Héctor Gutiérrez y soy un estudiante internacional en Sacred Heart. Soy miembro del equipo de División I de golf, del programa de honores y parte del club "La Hispanidad". Mi búsqueda de continuar mi carrera colegial en Estados Unidos era una decisión importante y quería esta seguro de hacer la correcta. Entre todas mis opciones, SHU sobresalió como el mejor lugar para continuar con mi carrera, tanto académica como atlética, por varias razones. Como estudiante, he encontrado un ambiente muy enriquecedor en la escuela que me ayuda a aprender mas dentro y fuera del salón de clases. Los profesores son maravillosos, las clases muy interesantes y todo el mundo es muy apasionado por aprender. En un corto tiempo, he aprendido la importancia que la escuela le otorga al carácter único que cada estudiante trae a este lugar. Hay algo para cada persona; puede ser un club, un deporte o una organización de estudiantes. En la escuela siempre hay shows de comedia, películas, oradores que dan platicas muy interesantes y viajes, por lo tanto, siempre hay algo divertido que hacer. Una gran parte del éxito de un estudiante-atleta viene del equilibrio entre la escuela y el deporte. Los deportes a nivel universidad pueden ser desafiantes pero se ha convertido en una de las experiencias mas valiosas de mi vida hasta ahora gracias a todo el apoyo que recibes de todos. Es difícil dejar tu casa para ir a un país completamente diferente y adaptarte a una nueva cultura. Todas las personas que he conocido me han ayudado mucho a sentirme parte de este nuevo ambiente y he disfrutado mucho conocer más de la gente, el lugar y la cultura. Los maestros y los estudiantes son muy cálidos con los estudiantes internacionales y con mucho entusiasmo te ayudan a sentirte en casa. Ya sea en el salón, el campo de golf o en los dormitorios, hay una sensación de hogar que he encontrado aquí en Sacred Heart y estoy emocionado por lo que el resto de mi tiempo aquí traerá.