International Student Welcome blog post

Dear First-Year Students,

It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to Penn State – the place you will fall in love with over the next 4 years. Many of you have travelled a long distance to get here, and you have finally arrived. So congratulations. Now you begin a new phase of your life. At Penn State, you will meet amazing people from all around the world. It is my hope that you will learn as much from your peers as you do from your classes, if not more. The friends you make now will be your friends for life.

When I came here 4 years back, I was intimidated. I didn’t know anybody, wasn’t familiar with the class structures, never lived by myself before and just really missed home, especially the food. With time, I grew out of it. At every step of the way, I found help – The only thing you need to do is ‘Ask’. The Penn State community is very welcoming, so don’t be shy. As a fellow Penn Stater we share values like Community, Discovery, Excellence, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility. The reason we have the Nittany Lion as our mascot is because it has never been beaten in a fair fight. We all strive to give our best at whatever we do, while respecting the rules of the game.

Outside classes, you can join a club of your choice. And if none of the 1000 clubs on campus interests you, you can make one! The Penn State community is very welcoming, so don’t be shy. I encourage you all to step out of your comfort zone, try new things and meet new people every day. You are now a part of an institution that has an old and prestigious history – the traditions you will be a part of are more than a century old.

So class of 2021, go to all your classes, finish your assignments daily, follow your heart when choosing your major, discover & pursue your passion and most importantly, enjoy every second of it. This experience will never come back and you must make the most of it.

As for me, I can only say, “I wish I could go back, not to change anything, but to do it all over again”. I have made wonderful friends here, enjoyed and learned a lot from my classes, engulfed myself with my interests and have cherished every moment of it. For you, I wish the same. Once again, welcome Penn State Class of 2021. Make us proud.

Akram Khan

Bachelor of Science | Economics

Bachelor of Science Mathematics (Actuarial Science Track)

Bachelor of Science | Applied Statistics

Jazz Club | President

Vedic Math Club | President

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