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International Student Stories

When packing her bags to come to McMaster, there is one thing Charlotte, a fourth-year anthropology student, made sure she back with her in 2014.

“The most important thing I brought to Canada was my photo album. It has pictures of my parents and friends from back home. Showing my Canadian friends these photos make me miss my parents a little less. My parents were always very supportive of me and I am very grateful for that. I have been interested in anthropology since I was young and when I told my parents I wanted to study anthropology they were very supportive.”


Growing up in a supportive environment, it was important for Charlotte to feel as supported by the school she attended. One of the ways she has received support was through the International Student Advisory Council of which she was a founding member. This is a group gives international students the opportunity to give feedback on their experience at McMaster but also to be connected with resources that can help them in their time at McMaster.

“The International Student Advisory Council and the faculty involved have supported me in my time here and this make me feel connected to the Social Sciences community.”

After specializing in Anthropology, Charlotte knew it was the right fit for her. She is proud to be in anthropology and is inspired by her professors.

“Dr. Carter and Dr. Morell-Hart have really helped me. Dr. Carter is good at explaining his assignment requirements when I don’t understand them. Dr. Morell-Hart inspires me, being a woman who is successful in anthropology. I have been to both of their office hours and they have both been very helpful. Their positive attitudes towards their students as well as towards their work inspires me.”

On top of supportive professors, Charlotte has enjoyed her labs and excavation classes she has taken and has been able to use her background as an International Student to her advantage.

“Being from China, I have been able to bring my own perspectives to understand anthropological problems and see them in a different way. Anthropology and archeology need new cross-cultural perspectives. In this case, being an international student has helped me understand topics such as the need to preserve artifacts, in a different way.”

While Charlotte has been in Hamilton since 2016, she is always finding new things she loves about the city. She loves going to school in Hamilton because of her ability to easily explore Hamilton with the bus pass students receive with their tuition. 

“I love downtown Hamilton. They have an International grocery store called Nations as well as many different restaurant options such as many Japanese, Korean and Italian options. I love the variety of food available.”

“If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to talk to people. People here are nice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to reach out to your professors or faculty members to ask for help. Don't be afraid to go up and talk to that new person. That is how I found my first roommate!”

“On a way to tour my first apartment I met my roommate. I heard her and her friend talking in Chinese. I said “hey are you looking for a roommate” in Chinese to her and she said yes. I told her my name and where I’m from and explained my situation and gave her my phone number. We ended up living together and are still friends. I am going to her place for Christmas. I am very lucky to have met her, but I would not have if I hadn’t have approached her”. 

“My experience at McMaster has been so precious. I wouldn’t go back and tell myself to do anything differently. It was important for me to experience what I have here and McMaster has had a large impact on making me the person I am today."