International Student Profiles

International Student Profiles

Joy OyekanmiaJoy Oyekanmi
Toronto, Canada

Major: Criminology 

Also accepted at: Buckingham University in London, England

What made you choose Penn State Behrend? 
I had two reasons for choosing Penn State Behrend. One, my brother and sister both attended, so I wanted to continue the legacy. Second, Penn State Behrend is a fairly small campus, with small classes, so I have the chance to get more one-on-one help from my professors.

What’s your favorite spot on campus, and why?
​My favorite spot is the Multi-Cultural Council (MCC) suite. The reason I chose this room is for the people. Being an international student, I enjoyed meeting other students with different backgrounds who were accepting of everyone and made me feel welcome. MCC also holds events that are fun to participate in. 

What five words do you use to describe Behrend to your friends at home?

  1. Diverse
  2. Nice (students and teachers)
  3. Safe
  4. Fun
  5. Beautiful (campus)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I see myself either graduating from law school or beginning a job at a law firm. 

What’s one thing no one would guess about you?
​I’m the biggest procrastinator, but even with this trait I still always find time to finish my homework and assignments, and to study for exams.


Ramisa FarihaRamisa Fariha
Narayanganj, Bangladesh

Major: Engineering 

Also accepted at: University of Texas, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Brunel University in London, England

What made you choose Penn State Behrend?
I was torn between Penn State and University of Texas. I had zero idea about the U.S. and couldn’t decide at all. However, I ended up Skyping with Mary-Ellen Madigan, Behrend’s director of enrollment management. I got to know about the programs at Behrend through her and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a Nittany Lion. Now I know I made the right choice, because I fell in love with Behrend the moment I arrived. Everyone here is really nice and I love being here!

What’s your favorite course so far, and why? 
​So far I’ve liked all my courses. Econ 104 taught me a lot about the American economic system. In American Studies 100, Dr. Goertel taught the norms and customs of the U.S. and skills I need to fit into U.S. society—this is one course I suggest all international students take in their first semester. English 050 is fun, since I get to read and write many interesting fiction stories. Music 052 is a stress reliever for me. I absolutely loved the way my math was taught this semester and last semester. Professors Blackney and Falvo are amazing!

What five words do you use to describe Behrend to your friends at home?
Fun, loved, amazing, home, THE BEST!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years’ time I see myself with a Ph.D. in engineering (hopefully biomedical engineering), doing research on the creation of an internal organ of some sort, incorporating the principles of chemistry and the mechanical aspects of design.

What’s one thing no one would guess about you?
I am a HUGE wrestling fan! People are usually shocked when they learn this about me.


Myzatil ShaharomMyzatil Shaharom
Selangor, Malaysia

Major: International Business and Accounting

Also accepted at: Drexel University

What made you choose Penn State Behrend?
Choosing a place to spend the next four years was a big decision for me. Behrend is smaller than the University Park campus; with smaller classes, I hope to get the best education. There was an exciting list of clubs and organizations to join. The suburban setting and Great Lakes were attractive to me. I can’t be grateful enough with my decision. I’m happy here and would recommend it to anyone who hopes for the best education and campus life.

What’s your favorite spot on campus, and why? 
Lilley Library! The library is a comfortable place to study, use the computers, do research, have a group discussion, and spend time between classes. The environment is so conducive that I can complete all my assignments there and do not have to bring them home with me.

What five words do you use to describe Behrend to your friends at home?
Educational, enhancing, enjoyable, friendly, welcoming.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I will be a businesswoman operating my own international company. This is a dream I’ve had for five years, but never did I think it would come true until I came to Behrend. I never imagined myself as an international student. I always thought it was too hard to adapt to new cultures but it seems like I was wrong. It is indeed challenging, but really not that hard. Studying at a Penn State campus makes it easier for me to get involved in classes, clubs, and organizations. The speaking, communicating, and organizing skills that I have established here make a clear path to my dream. I believe I can make it. My education and experiences will help me, God willing. Just wait until ten years from now!

What’s one thing no one would guess about you?
I love outdoor activities. People might see me as a quiet girl, but I enjoy physical activity.


Nur Amira Kamaruddin​Nur Amira Kamaruddin
Selangor, Malaysia 

Major: Psychology

What made you choose to attend Penn State Behrend?
From my research, I found out that Behrend is surrounded by nature. I love the peaceful environment I found here more than anything else. Penn State Behrend has smaller-scale classes, which makes professors more involved with their students. I have more interactions with my professors than if I went to a bigger college.

What’s your favorite course so far, and why?
My favorite is a course I’m taking right now, Human Development. I am really interested in how children develop. I’m learning a lot from Dr. Charisse Nixon, as she knows her stuff really well and the class is full of interaction.

What five words do you use to describe Behrend to your friends at home?
It is peaceful and awesome!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself doing research on human development in Malaysia, helping children with disabilities.

What’s one thing no one would guess about you?
​I talk a lot more than people think I do.