Peer Mentors help new students adjust to college life, overcome obstacles in their education and in their lives, utilize campus resources, and take part in a college living environment. Peer Mentors help with airport pickups, Orientations, and provide guidance to new students throughout the first semester.

peer mentors

Office of International Education Staff, New International Students, and Peer Mentors for Fall 2017 Orientation

brooke

Brooke Wendling
Year: Senior
Major: International Studies
Email:wendbe40@oneonta.edu

 

About me:
I’m from Ballston Spa, New York (close to Saratoga Springs/Albany). I previously studied abroad in Australia and Ireland. I really enjoy skiing (downhill). After I graduate, I hope to teach English in Japan then maybe attend graduate school.

Something on my bucketlist:
I’m from Ballston Spa, New York (close to Saratoga Springs/Albany). I previously studied abroad in Australia and Ireland. I really enjoy skiing (downhill). After I graduate, I hope to teach English in Japan then maybe attend graduate school.

Why I wanted to become a peer mentor:
To meet new people from around the world. I really enjoy meeting new people. I’ve studied abroad, thus I think I could really help/guide students studying abroad because I’ve been there, and can tell them what to do and what not to do. Lastly, I just want to make sure they have the best experience they can.

Advice to new international students:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or go to different events. I made most of my friends by going to many different on and off-campus events. I really encourage students to do the same.

Elena

Elena Juliano
Year: Junior
Major: Political Science
Email:Julie17@oneonta.edu

 

About me:
I am a political science major with the hopes of working for the United Nations someday. I am from Staten Island, New York. Recently, I did a study abroad to Sweden where I was able to visit the surrounding countries as well as see the Aurora Borealis. I have also traveled to Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, and Israel. I absolutely love to travel, read, write, and draw. In my free time, I tend to either be reading or doing something creative like knitting. Horses are also a big part of my life, especially since I started to volunteer for a stable back in my hometown. I grew up in an Italian household so I technically have to say my favorite food is Italian, but I also really love Indian.

Something on my bucketlist:
To travel the world is top priority. Then it's to hike in Iceland, take a road trip down Route 66, and visit all my friends that live in other countries.

Why I wanted to become a peer mentor:
I wanted to be a peer mentor because I feel it is really important to help incoming international students. I understand how hard it can be to live in a different country and I wanted to be able to assist them with their transition.

Advice to new international students:
Try not to shut yourself in your room after class. Try to find a club or school activity that sounds interesting to you, even if you are just an exchange student for one semester. You don't have to do a crazy college party and you don't have to just study, just be who you are and do what you love.

Erin

Erin Kelly
Year: Junior
Major: Fashion and Textiles
Kellem70@oneonta.edu

 

About me:
My name is Erin Kelly, I am from Albany, NY. I am a vegetarian and my biggest passion in life, other than God and my family, is Disney, and I’ve been to Disney World seven times!

Something on my bucketlist: I’d like to go to a summer festival in Japan with fireworks and wear a yukata.

Why I wanted to become a peer mentor: I absolutely love helping people, and being to a comforting and reliable friend for others to count on. I’ve made many international friends this past year, and discovered a new found love for helping them specifically. I also am extremely open minded and accepting of all cultures, and love to learn about new ones.

Advice to new international students:
You are never alone, and there is always a place for you. Even if the homesickness and cultural/language barrier seems overwhelming, there are always people to come to who are willing to help you.

Gabryel

Gabryel Herrera
Year: Senior
Major: Criminal Justice
herrgb20@oneonta.edu

 

About me:
I was born in Bronx, NY and I have been living here for my entire life so far. I have been a peer mentor for a club called Trilatino, which trains people to do triathlons. I’ve been with the club for five years and it has been an amazing journey. I enjoy being active and my favorite food is Mexican food.

Something on my bucketlist:
Some of my bucket list items are: graduate from college, complete a marathon, and complete an Ironman triathlon. Skydiving is also on my bucket list.

Why I wanted to become a peer mentor:
I decided to become a peer mentor because I love the idea of meeting new people and helping in any way I can. I strongly feel that networking is really important so if I can extend that to others, it would mean more opportunities not only for myself, but also the other people which in this case, would be my mentees.

Advice to new international students:
Try to enjoy your time the best you can over here and if you need any kind of help, don’t be afraid or shy to reach out.

brooke

Lydia Ndambuki
Year: Junior
Major: Biochemistry
ndaml48@oneonta.edu

 

About me:
My major is Biochemistry. My hometown is Nairobi which is in Kenya. I was a TA for the language department for two semesters teaching Swahili. I love singing, dancing, sleeping, shopping, traveling from time to time and listening to music. My favorite food is chicken, potatoes and ugali (which is a staple food in Kenya). Sometimes I laugh so hard until I fall to the ground and cry.


Something on my bucketlist:
I would like to go to Disneyland at least once.

Why I wanted to become a peer mentor:
I want to help new international students adjust to the life in USA the same way my peer mentor helped me adjust to College and USA culture. I would like to meet and interact with new people from different cultural backgrounds. To gain leadership experience. To try it because it’s a new experience for me.

Advice to new international students:
Embrace your cultural background no matter what people say.



The map seen with the peer mentors (and found in the OIE) may seem upside down. However, it actually shows a perspective of the world from the North Pole, and can be interpreted as a reminder to be open to new perspectives when meeting new people or experiencing a different part of the world.