Berkeley Today Stories
International Student Feels at Home in New York City Thanks to Berkeley College Advisors, Faculty, and Students
As a boy growing up in Barcelona, José Navarro dreamed of attending college in New York City. That dream came true when he was accepted into the International Business program at Berkeley College in the fall of 2010. When he returned to New York City for his second year at Berkeley, Mr. Navarro felt like he was coming home.
"There is a sense of community here that I never felt at other schools," said Mr. Navarro, who previously graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and spent a year as an exchange student at Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School in Estonia.
That sense of belonging is in large part due to the support of advisors, faculty members, and students at Berkeley College.
The first point of contact for international students at Berkeley College is with advisors in the International Student Department. There they receive help with visa procedures, housing information, and orientation to college life.
"It takes time to get adjusted to the American system of education, and my advisors made that transition easy for me," Mr. Navarro said.
From the very beginning Mr. Navarro looked forward to attending classes.
"Walking through Midtown every morning on my way to class gives me such positive energy," he said.
That energy extends beyond the classroom. During the Spring 2011 Quarter, Mr. Navarro served on the Model United Nations team. The team debated social issues related to Botswana before an international student audience. Mr. Navarro also is a member of the International Club that hosts social and cultural activities, and he serves as the International Student Blogger for Berkeley College.
Through his blog, Mr. Navarro frequently shares tips based on his own study-abroad experience. Some of his blogs have captured the attention of a wider audience. For example, following a workshop by Karine Rosal, Associate Director, International Student Department, he wrote a blog titled "F-1 Employment Visas" that was picked up by the U in the USA website. Another blog titled "International Minds" was posted on the Voice of America (VOA) website which is viewed weekly by an estimated 125 million people.
"It’s very exciting because people from all over the world are reading my blog. I get e-mails from Asia, Europe, and even Africa asking questions about going to college in the United States," Mr. Navarro said.