Experience Culture- Christopher

I am Christopher Rolle and I am a first-year student in the Master of Science in Accounting program, specializing in financial accounting. I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida and attended the University of Central Florida for my undergraduate degree. I sought a new experience for my graduate program, which led me to a new environment, culture, and climate at the University of Maryland.

Upon my arrival at the University of Maryland for orientation and during the first week of classes, I was initially surprised by the diversity of the students that were in my classes. The majority of the students in my graduate program were international students, many of whom were from China. I immediately recognized that my experience here at the University of Maryland would be a unique one, with lots to learn; vastly different from the experience I may have had at another school’s graduate program.

As I had guessed, my experience has been exciting and unique. Interacting with individuals from other countries on a regular basis has been intriguing and a learning opportunity, to say the least. During class time and group work, I’ve learned some of the Chinese language and I was able to discuss the differences between Chinese and American culture.  Additionally, I gained some insight into some of the social pastimes that students from international countries enjoy doing- and much more. Outside of class time, I’ve had the opportunity to taste some home cooked cuisine, play basketball, and enjoy social events with my new friends and classmates.

This exchange is not a one-way street. I’ve introduced some of the international students that I’ve befriended to popular American foods and traditions, and even taken one of my fellow classmates to a bar to watch his first Super Bowl! Needless to say, I came to the University of Maryland to get my graduate degree, but to my surprise, I’ve been able to discover and appreciate new cultures and make friends who are different from myself along the way, and I think many of the international students would say the same. Here at the University of Maryland, I’ve been able to do more than just learn about accounting; I’ve had the opportunity to experience!

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