The University of Wyoming is where Zhibo Lin is studying. He has come quite far from home to attend college in the United States. “I ‘m from a town in the southeast coast of China it is called Xianen and the reason I came over here to the states is to get my undergraduate degree and previously I went to a college in China for a year and then I met a couple of people who are from the states teaching over there so they just kind of introduce me into school over in Wyoming and then I just decided to come over here and see the differences.”
Zhibo says some of the educational differences are....”just in turn of the way people teach over here and the whole academic system here in the states is very different from what we have in China because like in China when you say you go to college you pretty much get assigned to a group of people and you stay with this group of people and study your courses throughout the four years,” he says. “In the states it is more flexible. You can choose your own time and own section or pretty much you decide how many credits you want to take, but in China it is like a set schedule, a set group of people and then in four years you will be done. So I guess both systems have their good sides and disadvantages of it.”
Before coming to the University of Wyoming Zhibo went to college back home where he was a business major. He decided to change his area of study when he came here. “I was a business major back home in college, but then I feel like all the classes I was taken at that time was kind of easy so I decided to go into some kind of science field or engineering field. I was pretty good in Math so I choose Computer Science as my major when I came down to the University of Wyoming and I found it is really fun because in computer science you can pretty much create any algorithm or any kind of program you want according to your thoughts and the way you want it to be,” he says. “So it is very creative world I guess, a very different world.”
When Zhibo is not studying he enjoys spending time with his friends, but he says one thing that is a challenge for his as an international student is dealing with some of the stereotypes people have about other cultures. “In Wyoming it is really really hard to see people from out of Wyoming I guess and being an international student is particularly hard because sometimes you experience people with stereotype like ‘you are from China so you must know martial arts or you must be friends with Jackie Chang or Yao Ming,” he says. “It is very hard to break the stereotype of what people think about international student and that is kind of why I been trying to promote and help people get rid of those stereotypes by being in the International Student Association and that is somethings I have encountered while studying at Univ. of W.”
Zhibo says because he had a host family since being here, it has helped him learn about the American culture. “I had a pretty good transition to the whole American culture because I have a really good host family and then I go over to their house every weekend pretty much and then during the weekdays I would come back to the dorms, but throughout the week I would take out a piece of paper and kind of journal things and write all the things that I experienced during that week…something weird, something fun, something that I was confused about, words that I didn’t know at that time I would write it all down and then on the weekends I go over my host family house and do like a vocabulary game I guess,” he says. “I would just ask them about things and why do people wear cowboy hats and do stuff like that’s how I got to know the American culture and I think they made a huge influence in my life.”
Zhibo will graduate in May of next year.