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Biological sciences major finds community at Nebraska U
Coming to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from his hometown of Hội An, Vietnam, was a big change for Sam Ho, but his openness to new experiences and desire to get involved has helped him build his Husker community.
As a first-generation international student, Ho isn’t one to shy away from a new experience. In fact, the senior in biological sciences prefers to fully immerse himself in whatever he’s doing, something that’s helped him as he’s navigated coming to college in Lincoln and getting involved around campus.
“I’ve always been okay with living outside my comfort zone and pushing myself to see how far I can go — now, I’m pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a second language while living far away from my family,” Ho said.
After talking through the move with his family, researching colleges and earning a scholarship to the university, Ho chose to come to Nebraska to pursue his dreams of studying medicine and becoming a doctor.
It was a big move for Ho, but one he credits the Husker community with making much, much easier.
“When I first came to college, I found it quite challenging to immerse myself in a new cultural environment,” he said. “The people around campus — my professors, advisors, and peers I go to class with — they were very nice and helpful, and I felt I could reach out to them for a helping hand.”
After finding his footing on campus, Ho was ready for his next big challenge: serving as a teacher’s aide for a general chemistry lab. Though it required him to learn how to instruct a classroom of students and stretch his communication skills, his time as a TA allowed him to forge more great connections in the Husker community.
“I think I developed some greater interpersonal skills by interacting with my students, especially during office hours where I answered their questions about lab reports or other issues the class,” Ho said. “It was stressful and joyful at the same time.”
He particularly values the relationships he built as a TA with fellow international students.
“We had similar experiences coming to the U.S., being nervous about cultural differences and everything else. We struck gold — I really saw myself in them,” he said.