It was Mei’s idea to study abroad in the United States. She wanted to take initiative, step out of her comfort zone, and forge her own path. Her parents were open to the idea, and now Mei is a senior in the Supply Chain Management program with a minor in Information Technology and is involved in the International Student Association (ISA), Chinese American Cross Culture Experience and the Residential Hall Association (RHA).
Originally from Shanghai, China, one of the biggest adjustments for Mei (other than the large size of the campus) has been the sense of independence she has gained while living here. She feels lucky to be at Michigan State doing the things she does. As a representative in RHA, Mei is one of the only international students in recent years and has the opportunity to voice the opinions and concerns of other international students on campus. She is constantly working to make sure that international students are included in decision making, and that their voices are being heard.
In addition to her extra-curricular activities, Mei is also an employee of OISS! She loves the work environment, the mixed cultures of the employees, and working with international students. She said it’s an ideal place to work, and is providing her with good experience for future job opportunities.
When she isn’t busy with her organizations and activities, you can find Mei simply socializing with those around her. Interacting with people from all over the world is one of her favorite things. She is interested in people’s stories, why they do what they do, where they want to go in life, and where they have come from. When she is in Shanghai, she enjoys spending time with her parents, grandmother, and her role model. Her family loves to eat xiao long bao, a soup dumpling that has many fond memories. Her grandmother’s house is her favorite place back home, where she is always well fed, and can share about school with her ever-social grandma.
Mei has held an internship in California with the Smith-Anderson Wine Group where she learned a lot about wine, gardening and more. She has an internship lined up with Great Lakes Wine and Spirits for this summer, the biggest distributor of wine and spirits in Michigan.
Mei’s advice for other international students who are taking the initiative to study abroad is to check the weather before you go! She also advises international students to learn English and the culture of the place where they will study before arriving. “Step out of your comfort zone. Spend time with friends who aren’t international students and take advantage of the first few months abroad- there are a lot of decisions that affect your future college career.”
Mei took a chance and stepped out of her comfort zone, and in her years spent at MSU, it has definitely paid off.
Yixin Mei was interviewed by John Nowak, a senior at Michigan State and the OISS Sponsored Student Program intern. He has worked at OISS since last spring and enjoys meeting and interacting with sponsored students from all over the world. John is in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, and also is studying Spanish at MSU.