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A Whole New World

International students settle in at Mizzou during Fall Welcome

Students in chairs.

Floor mates, left to right, Maddie Smith, Cheyenne Shanks, Alexus Zimerman, Brianna Veal talk about their experiences with move-in at Defoe-Graham Hall.

During move-in week at Mizzou, everything is new: a new room, new friends and, for many, a new city. It’s not uncommon for a group of friends formed during Fall Welcome to hail from all corners of the country. But at Defoe-Graham Residence Hall, home of many international undergrads, friends come from all corners of the globe.

Cultural Ambassadors

Maddie Smith

Sophomore Maddie Smith talks with her floor mates.

While everyone is busy learning how their student IDs work and trying to remember the dining hall hours, the students of this global community are also teaching one another about their respective cultures. For many residents, it’s their favorite part of their new home.

Since moving in, freshman Cheyenne Shinks and sophomores Maddie Smith, Alexus Zimmerman and Brianna Veal have spent much of their time in their floor lounge, meeting as many people as possible. They’ve experienced cultural differences related to movies, social media and slang, and they all look forward to learning even more.

Alexus Zimerman

Sophomore Alexus Zimerman lived among international students in Defoe-Graham Hall last year. Now she plans to study abroad with international students she met at MU.

Global Network

According to Zimerman, a community leader, making friends in the international community is the best, but also the hardest, part of living in Defoe-Graham.

“When they leave, it’s so saddening,” she says. “It’s so fun getting to know them, and it hurts so bad when they leave, but you have those friends all over the world.”

“The great part is that when you open yourself up like we have, you make these friends so quickly.”
- Sophomore Alexus Zimmerman

Smith, another community leader at Defoe, agrees. Facebook and Snapchat keep her in daily contact with friends abroad, and roles will reverse when she heads to England on a study-abroad trip, where she’ll study at the same university as two former Defoe-Graham residents.

For now, though, residents are getting to know one another’s cultures and making global connections, all from the comfort of a residence hall lounge.

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