International Student Life

Hi! I’m Sophie Wu, a first year at Olin. I’m from Shanghai, China, and am a MechE student with a focus on Material Science Engineering. I’m going to write about the international life at Olin today.

How is it like to study in a place 7000 miles away from home?

Before I departed from my home, I asked myself hundreds and hundreds of times: Can I get used to the loneliness of being distant from home in an unfamiliar environment? Can I be understood by other students, who are from a totally different background? Who can I ask for help, when I’m facing problems, either academically or in my life?

Olin is probably the smallest community I have ever lived in. With a total of less than 400 students and less than 30 of them from other countries, the simplicity seems to be unavoidable. However, there are still plenty of ways to get ourselves engaged in a rich mixture of international activities.

Located near Boston, it is not hard to get into the Boston downtown and enjoy the variety of international experiences. Chinatown, for example, is one of the best places for me to chill up during a leisure weekend. 

Chinatown at Night

Chinatown at Night

Hotpots, bubble tea, Chinese dumplings… The color from neon lamps and the tempting smell of food dilute my nostalgia. Boston’s Chinatown is rich with history, tradition, excitement, gifts, culture, and great food.

Besides, the Japanese cuisine and Indian food around Boston downtown are also worth a try.

At Olin, the inclusive atmosphere is always friendly to every international student. We have Mid-Autumn celebration and New Year celebration every year, and we also enjoy different traditional holidays from other countries. Last year, we decorated the library and enjoyed traditional Chinese dumplings there.

Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year Celebration

The culture integration is mostly presented in our dining hall. The quality of meals is amazing! We can often see Indian and Japanese dishes, which are often quite top rated among students.

Healthy Food from Dining Hall

Healthy Food from Dining Hall

If we are facing any problem, there is always plenty of help. We can contact our R2s (Resident Resources) and can look for emotional support from Colony Care. This is a place where we can discuss our confusions and difficulties confidentially.

We never feel lonely in our life at Olin – there are so many activities for us to enjoy!

Posted in: Sophie '22, Class of 2022