International Student Spotlight: Meet Jiawei Shao

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Orientation Leader photo and photo of Jiawei Shao, international student at Rutgers
Tuesday, June 11th

Rutgers University is proud to welcome more than 7,000 international students from around the world to our campuses each year. Rutgers Global’s International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) team supports our international community by providing services and enriching experiences from their arrival to Rutgers to graduation and beyond. Some of our international students choose to become Orientation Leaders (OLs) at our International Student Orientation events, held in the fall and spring. These OLs volunteer their time and energy to ensure that new international students arriving to Rutgers feel welcomed and prepared to start their academic journey at Rutgers. Here is one of our OLs, Jiawei Shao from Zhejiang Province, China, who will share a bit about his journey to Rutgers along with some of his favorite things.

Why did you choose to come to Rutgers?

I came to Rutgers because I got accepted to my current program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. When I was applying I got the impression of Rutgers being a very welcoming institution. The first impression has proved to be correct: Rutgers is willing to walk the extra mile to help each and every student, valuing our different backgrounds. 

What are you studying at Rutgers? 

I study Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. I enjoyed all of the courses in the program and, in particular, I had a lot of fun in the Data Science course offered by Dr. Joseph Casillas. I could feel his passion for the content of the course and the assignments were actually fun!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the fitness center on Easton Ave. Then environment is great and the staff there are very helpful. No matter if I’m in the mood to work out on my own or exercise with friends, it’s always a good time there.

What is the thing that surprised you most when you came to Rutgers?

It still always surprises me to learn how big Rutgers actually is. Not only geographically, but also service-wise. Rutgers has multiple campuses and, little by little, I discovered all the things we can do and all the resources we have access to.

What is your favorite restaurant in the area and why?

My favorite restaurant is Tasty Moment located in Edison near H Mart. It’s an authentic Chinese restaurant offering great soup dumplings, among other amazing dishes. You’ll like it no matter if you are new to Chinese food or you’re already a big fan of Chinese cuisine. 

What do you do when you are not studying? 

I enjoy taking walks in the beautiful parks around Rutgers and also going to gym classes. The gym classes are a good way to de-stress and you can make great friends there.

Why did you decide to become an Orientation Leader?

Ever since being accepted to Rutgers, I’ve received constant help from the ISSS office. Their kindness and patience are so admirable. I'd like to pass all the kindness along to welcome the new students. Also getting trained to be an Orientation Leader is a great way to learn more about Rutgers.

What advice would you give to a new international student at Rutgers?

Be very proud of yourself! You’ve come a long way to be here, and now it’s your time to shine! And you can find all the support you need at Rutgers to help you achieve your goals as long as you are confident to reach out!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’d like to see myself still here in Rutgers in 5 years, no longer as a student but as staff to offer more help the new generations of Scarlet Knights.

Learn more about International Student Orientation, coming up on August 26-28. 2024.
Learn more about becoming an Orientation Leader.