International Student Documentary

By: Isabel Freedman

For our International student documentary, Leslie Gill, Lauren Cuddy and I interviewed Iria García. Although born and raised in Coruña, Spain, Iria has been an international student in the United States for 5 years now. During the documentary, Iria speaks about her freshman year and how welcomed she felt by the community. Before the interview, Iria seemed to be a bit nervous in front of the camera, but once the camera started rolling her bright and charming personality came out, and she felt more comfortable speaking.

We met Iria at our on campus sorority house, which ended up being a perfect place to shoot. The on campus house has a warm and friendly environment that would not make anyone feel uncomfortable or exposed. This was also an appropriate place to interview Iria, because she spoke about her organization and how it helped her through her Freshman year of college. She will also be living in the on campus sorority house next year, and her face lit up the minute she stepped into her future home.

Iria was nervous to come to school in the United States in the first place, and she was the only one out of her friends at home who decided to do it. At first, Iria was unsure if she wanted to even go to college, after finishing high school in the states. Many of her friends at home were not pursuing a college career, and when she was home with them over the summer, she had second thoughts. However, the minute that she visited Elons campus, she knew that she belonged here for the next four years of her life. Although it was a tough decision, Iria did not show any signs of regret.

Later on in the interview, we asked Iria more about the culture in Spain, and how it related to the culture here at Elon. Specifically, we asked about the sustainability efforts in comparison. Iria spoke highly of the sustainability efforts on Elons campus. Back in her hometown, Iria frequently visited fresh farmers markets that sold healthy and sustainably produce. When Iria discovered the Elon Community Garden this Spring, she was pleasantly surprised by the familiar vibes that she encountered while visiting the garden.

Overall, I enjoyed speaking with Iria, and getting to know her more. Although we have known one another for a couple months now, I never knew her experiences as an international student. It was interesting to hear about different cultures, and how the sustainability efforts were in comparison. I will be studying in Barcelona next fall, so I was extremely curious about the country.

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