JoJo Jun Ga
Home Country: China
Majors: Economics and History
Class of 2011
“Let me send a message to students in China who are considering coming to Guilford College,” says JoJo Jun Gao, of Shanghai, China: “Greensboro, North Carolina, is not like Hollywood movies! It’s not as aggressive, as dangerous, as many movies would have us expect all of America to be. Greensboro in general, and Guilford College in particular, are very friendly and welcoming, not at all threatening.”
JoJo, who pursued a double-major at Guilford College, has further practical advice: “You’ll be leaving your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing. But because you’re leaving your family and relatives behind, be prepared to handle your own finances — learn how to deal with a bank. Also, there’s no big-city mass transportation system in Greensboro, like subways or cross-town trains, so learn how to drive. That would be very helpful.”
She says that what she enjoyed most about Guilford College was that it was small, “and the classes themselves are really small and welcoming. And oh — the campus is absolutely beautiful!”
JoJo says that the method of learning at Guilford is different from that in China: “We could sit and listen to lectures for years in China, for all of our classes, and still succeed. Here, though, you have to participate and really engage during the classes. I much prefer that way now, but it at first it was an adjustment. After about a semester you find yourself much more willing to speak up, and definitely the classroom discussions, with you taking part, stimulate your brain. You learn more.”
JoJo was a member of the Chinese Culture Club at Guilford, an organization that she herself began a year ago, and she served as president of the Economic Advancement Club.
No stranger to travel, JoJo participated in several service trips around North Carolina and Louisiana with the college’s Friends Disaster Service, repairing houses and otherwise helping people in need. She also tutored foreign students at the local Newcomers School.
JoJo’s final piece of advice to all prospective foreign students is this: “Prepare yourself to enter a different culture … and be ready to enjoy it.”