Donglei Li

Donglei Li
Beijing, China
Student Type
Year of Graduation

Why SUNY Oneonta

In China, I looked at a catalogue of schools and saw SUNY Oneonta. The Communication Studies program seemed really great. I thought, ‘Why not step out of my comfort zone and travel to the United States and study abroad?’

My Activities

Resident Community Advisor (RCA) in Wilber Hall, president of Student Association, member of National Residence Hall Honorary (honor society) and Alpha Phi Omega, Orientation Leader

How I made the transition to American culture

When I first got here, my RA and my peer mentor, they were really nice to me. My English was not that good, even though I thought that my English was good back in China. But here, people talk so fast and people use slangs, which I don’t know. I got so confused, but they were really kind to me. They listened to me and they were really, really patient with me. That was my very first good experience. Then I got a job in Wilsbach. I never got a job before since our law in China is after 18 you can get a job. From that job, I learned how American students can be economically independent pay for their own stuff. I admire that so much.

Best experiences

Meeting some of my best friends in my life and being able to get involved and serve students and the campus. Becoming an RA was really great. Before that, even though I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, my friend circle was only international students, with a few American students.

I was also really lucky that I became a senator in the Student Association. I needed to run for it, so in the beginning of the semester I got a petition. I messaged my friends and posted on Facebook, talking about all the things that I can do: be the bridge between the international student and the regular student, bring multicultural to the school, and also I have RA experience as my basic foundation, so I know how to do programs, I know how to budget, I know how to solve problems. I love to help people. I got a position as a sophomore, which is rare. Now I am the Student Association president. I believe my involvement with student government also helped improve my academics.

Plans, Goals, Dreams

I’m really looking forward to doing some research or an independent study in my time left here. In the future, I believe the combination of Political Science and Communication Studies will give me a good knowledge of how government and organizations work so I’ll be ready for the real world.