By Tamara Strupp
To all my fellow students, no matter if you are already at VIU or planning to go to VIU soon. I wanted to share my personal story, which might give you some thoughts or motivate your future success.
I am originally from Germany. I came to the United States in 2008 as an au pair. I had a very interesting year with many ups and downs and decided I wanted to continue my life in the States as a student. Generally, I love to speak English; it is almost easier for me now than my own language. The first semester was a bit tough, since I had never gone to a university before and it was all new to me. After the second semester I started achieving straight A’s, of which I am very proud. I graduated in December 2011 with my Associates Degree in General Studies. I had mainly taken hospitality classes but wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted to pursue later on. In order to find out what I wanted to study, I applied for an OPT, which I pursued from January 2012 to December 2012. I worked at an animal hospital as a receptionist and nurse. I loved the experience. I learned how to draw blood, how to hold pets safely, and I followed the manager around learning her responsibilities. At the end of my year, I took over the manager’s responsibilities when she was not at work. I learned a lot, got more confident and professional and figured out what I wanted to study: International Business. With International Business I can basically work in any field, anywhere in the world. I applied and started studying at VIU in the spring of 2013. I really like my experience at VIU. The teachers and students are very nice and I feel like they actually care about the students and not just the money as a non-profit university, which is the opposite of so many other universities.
My future goals are to travel the world, make enough money to live comfortably, find the love of my life and have a successful career. For now, I want to graduate from VIU with a high GPA and learn as much as I possibly can. I am thinking about maybe opening my own animal clinic or pet-friendly hotel one day. After I graduate, I would love to work for a German-American company like Audi or BMW. I would love to be a communications manager that is responsible for communication between Germany and the USA.
My family does not have that much money, they are helping me with what they have but I have always been independent and relied on myself. Most universities do not provide scholarships for international students, especially not from Germany. But VIU does. Prove you are worth being supported and show it with hard work and dedication. VIU believes that everybody deserves a fair chance no matter where they are from. It values students’ ethnicities and is proud to be an international university which supports their students financially and by assisting students like me. I received a scholarship for the Fall 2013 semester, which helps me to achieve my goals. Now I am so close to graduating, and I am proud of what I have achieved so far. I will continue showing how determined I am to be a successful student at my university, VIU.
I did it and so can you. It’s your turn!
From your friend,