Student Profiles 

Want to learn more about what it's like to be an international student at UW-River Falls? Check out what some of our students have to say about their experience!

Miho Fukuoka, Japan

MihoOne of my favorite experiences at UWRF is working with new international students as an Orientation Transition Leader (OTL) for International Student Orientation. I applied to join the team because OTLs were the first people who welcomed me to campus when I arrived in the United States.  Being an OTL was a wonderful opportunity to improve my leadership skills and challenge myself.  Even though International Student Orientation only lasted 5 days, I had a lot of fun with the other OTLs and all of the new students we met! 

Having a host family is another great experience I have had at UWRF! My host family has invites me to their home for dinner a lot and they are always there whenever I need help. They are welcoming and warm and I enjoy spending time with them. I have a host sister and a baby host brother who are very adorable. It has been a lot of fun to be part of their family and watch my host sister and brother grow up!

Gustavo Cavalheiro, Brazil

GustavoBeing a student at UWF is awesome because you can never say "I have nothing to do." Even though our campus is small, there is always so much going on!  I take advantage of all of the great involvement opportunities at UWRF even though I commute from the Twin Cities. Sometimes I am really busy, an average day for me looks like this: wake up and drive to school, arrive early to find a parking spot and go to class. During breaks between classes I either study or hang out with friends. You can usually find me around the ping pong tables in University Center or eating lunch or dinner in Riverside Commons with friends. Many times during the week my friends and I also play soccer at a public park near campus! Like I said, there's always so much going on!

The professors at UWRF are excellent! I love all my professors and even after the semester ends, I still visit their offices sometimes just to say hi and catch up with them. I am not really sure if I have a favorite professor, but I really enjoyed class with Rhonda Petree and Charlie Lavin from the English Language Transition department. They are both excellent teachers and super fun to be around. Charlie even plays soccer with us!

Kevin Leor, Mexico

KevinI first came to UWRF as an exchange student and only planned to stay for a short time. I enjoyed life here so much that I changed to a degree-seeking student so I could stay longer!! During a typical day, I usually have class in the morning and then work as a Spanish Tutor in the Academic Success Center. Last semester I also had the opportunity to participate in the Global Partners Program where you can practice English and your native language with American students who are learning your native language. I really enjoyed it a lot - I was worked with 11 students who wanted to learn Spanish! I spend most of my free time in the library reading, working on homework, and meeting up with friends to study in groups. Even though I have a simple routine, every day I experience new things and that keeps life exciting!

My advice to all international students is to make as many friends as you can, learn a lot, and study hard. Enjoy every single moment at UWRF because it will change your life in really great ways. It changed mine!

Zhengan "Jack"  Jin, China

MinghuanThere are many things that I want to share with current and future UWRF students! The most unforgettable experience was when I hurt my elbow playing basketball. At the time, I didn't know what was wrong with my elbow - it could have been dislocated or even broken. All I knew was that I couldn't move  my arm and I could barely stand the pain,  Luckily, my friends kept calm, called the ambulance and supported me the whole time. The ambulance came and the emergency team took immediate action. When I left the basketball court, all of the players - about 50 students - applauded me!

At that moment, I was so moved that I totally forgot all about my pain. I ended up needing surgery and in the months following, my professors at UWRF continued to ask me how I was doing and if I needed any help. The staff in Student Health Services also helped me with all of my insurance questions. The support from my UWRF community ensured that I could have an easy and comfortable recovery - I could focus on getting better instead of worrying about class and medical bills.

Sohana Badhon, Bangladesh

SohanaDuring a normal school day, I will have two or three classes. During breaks between classes I participate in college events and activities, study with classmates and hang out with friends. Each of these things makes my life at UWRF more rewarding and vibrant. I also love the natural beauty of our campus. I especially love fall when the whole campus is covered in the bright colors of the changing leaves!

One thing that I really enjoy are the professors at UWRF. They are great teachers and mentors who are helpful and understanding. My transition to UWRF would have been as smooth was it not for my incredible professors. They truly care about their students and bring out the best in them. I am not just a number here at UWRF, my professors know me and want to learn about who I am and where I come from. I encourage all international student to get to know their professors outside of the classroom. Take them to lunch, meet for coffee or visit them in their office. They really are great!

Halan Tran, Vietnam

HalanI have so many great memories and experiences at UWRF, but one of my favorite experiences was being an Orientation and Transition Leader (OTL) for International Student Orientation. During my position as an OTL, I had the chance to make a lot of new friends from all over the world. It was so much fun to work with all of the new international students – I learned a lot of new things from them. I loved being able to help new international students when they first arrived in the US and enjoyed seeing them find their place here at UWRF.

Having a host family has also been one of my favorite UWRF experiences. I have made so many great memories with them. I have also had a lot of opportunities to experience and learn about American culture from my host family - they have really made me feel like I am part of their family. I encourage all international students to participates in the Host Family Program because it is a really good opportunity to experience American culture and meet some wonderful people in the local community.

Marie-Morella Kponou, Benin

Marie-MorellaI have really enjoyed my time at UWRF so far! During my average day I have class sometimes at 8am or 9am and I am usually done with classes by 3pm. After that, I usually attend a couple of student organization meetings (I'm really involved on campus!) and then eat dinner in Riverside Commons with my friends. After dinner it's time to study! Sometimes I study late into the night -especially when I have a test or an exam coming up. If you are looking for me I can usually be found in one of the study rooms in the library!

My advice to new international students is to be strong because it is not easy to study/live in a different country. It will be challenging and you will experience culture shock, but if you have the right mindset, it can be a great experience! There are a lot of resources available for students on campus. If you need help, all you need to do is ask. Be excited about the incredible opportunity that you have to study at UWRF!

Cheng-Yen "Peter" Lee, Taiwan

Cheng-YenHaving a host family is one the best things about my UWRF experience so far! My host mom is one of the loveliest ladies I have ever met and my host family has helped me get to know more about the River Falls community and American culture. I often visit my host family's home for dinner and games. I really enjoy spending time with them! They have always been there when I needed them. I can't imagine life without them. I love my host family like they are my real family! 

In addition to having a host family, I also encourage international students not to worry too much about making a lot of American friends.  When I was a new student, someone told me to join clubs and student organizations because that's the best way to meet people. It was true! All you have to do is take the first step and you will meet A LOT of cool people.  UWRF is a great place for international students to experience and enjoy college life. 


University of Wisconsin-River Falls
410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls WI 54022 USA
Campus Information 715-425-3911