KSU international student enjoys exploring new culture and friendships in first semester

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 9, 2023

The first semester of college is a time of transition and growth as students spread their wings and begin to navigate their academic careers, discover new interests and make lasting memories. In recognition of that significant step, we are highlighting students who have just completed their first semesters at Kennesaw State University. Micaela Bazalar Quispe, who is from Lima, Peru and plans to pursue a degree in sociology, shares what made her first semester as an Owl meaningful. 

Micaela Bazalar Quispe
Micaela Bazalar Quispe

Why did you decide to study at KSU?
I moved here for school, and it was a process that took some getting used to. I had some culture shocks when I first got here, but one thing I knew for sure is I wanted to go to school in an environment that is diverse. I’ve met so many people from so many different places, people with different views and different experiences and perspectives. One other thing that stood out to me about KSU when I was touring schools was that I never felt like I was just a number, even with so many students. All my advisors and everyone I talked to seemed to want to make sure that I got the tools that I needed to have a great experience. That was very important to me, while I was away from all my friends and family in Peru.

What are some of your favorite memories from your first semester?
Just getting to meet new people. This is the best experience I’ve had in terms of putting myself out there and making new friends. Everyone has been very nice to me and curious about my experiences and culture in Peru. Also, becoming a KSU Brand Ambassador has been amazing, because I felt a very strong connection to KSU from the beginning, and it’s provided me with so many opportunities. Plus, attending football games and all the events on campus that we don’t really have back home has been so much fun.

How did your first semester of college compare to your expectations?
It has exceeded my expectations. When I first got here, I thought my only priorities would be focusing on my classes and getting good grades, but I also just couldn’t help trying to get more involved on campus. There have been so many opportunities to get involved that I wasn’t expecting.

As you adjusted to college this semester, who or what has been your greatest support at KSU?
My friends and my supervisors at my two on-campus jobs have been very supportive and very understanding of my circumstances and being away from home and family.

Outside of class, what did you do to get involved at KSU in your first semester?
Besides being a KSU Brand Ambassador, my on-campus jobs have helped me meet more people, familiarize myself with campus and the resources that have been very helpful to me. I’m also part of the Student Government Association, and I represent international students on campus as a senator, because I wanted to help others in the same situation as me.

Did your college plan change at all during your first semester?
Yes. I originally wanted to major in political science, but I chose sociology, because it was what I realized I really wanted to do. Plus, I figured out during my first semester that I’m interested in going to law school after earning my undergraduate degree.

What are you looking forward to for the next few semesters?
Just continuing to get involved. I feel like I’m doing a lot in my first semester, but there are so many more opportunities and so many events going on at KSU all the time. I look forward to getting even more involved with KSU in general, college life and further adapting myself to the local culture.

– By Thomas Hartwell
Photos by Matt Yung

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.