International students tour America over break

While many students traveled home and visited family during the winter break, some Truman State international students decided to tour the United States.

One large group of international students decided to travel to New York City and to Washington, D.C. to see the nation’s capital.

The group of international students pose in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC. Submitted photo.

One of the students who traveled with the group was Freshman Jiawei “Brandon” Lu, a Chinese international student. Lu says he wanted to travel to learn more about the United States.

“In Washington, D.C., I realized that it is the place that you can see the ‘real’ stuff instead of the pictures in the history book,” Lu says. “We went to the White House, the Capitol, some memorials, National Archives, which keeps the Declaration of Independence, and Ford Theater where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.”

Lu says the trip was awesome because their group was like a family, and they were able to help each other along the way.

Freshman Darren Tjung, a Malaysian international student, was able to travel to three states during the month long break.

“As an international student in America, everything is new, and I wanted to be able to see and experience all those new things as my time in the States is limited,” Tjung says. “Because of the many attraction places available in the U.S., I wanted to seize every opportunity I had to be able to visit and encounter them as much as possible.”

Tjung says he started his break in Wilmington, North Carolina to celebrate Christmas.

“Most of my time there was spent on a boat or by the beach fishing and looking at the ocean waves, as Missouri has no ocean scenery,” Tjung says. “I had a good share of driving the boat round the coast of North Carolina and [had] many fishing and seafood hunting opportunities. Freshly caught seafood grilled over a barbecue pit or cooked over a stove with different ingredients were the best.”

Tjung then joined Lu and the other students to visit Washington, D.C. and New York.

“The group I went with were the first few people I met in Truman,” Tjung says. “We were like family. We spent many of our days in the semester having meals together, working out together and having fun together.”

Tjung says he enjoyed going to New York and seeing the modern architecture as well as the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. He said, however, the best night for him was New Year’s Eve.

“My most memorable experience the whole trip was during New Year’s Eve at Time Square,” Tjung says. “My friends and I ran through the mass crowd to try to get as close to the Ball drop as possible. We didn’t wait at Time Square in the afternoon like many people did to get a good view, instead we spontaneously decided two hours before New Years to rush through the throng of people for the countdown. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Ball drop as we entered the area too late but [we were] still able to experience the countdown to New Years in the atmosphere of Time Square.”