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Landry Cheta on Being an International Student

GCU students and Landry Cheta and British Flag

Landry Cheta (above left) is an international student from England, studying at Georgian Court University. In this interview with Brian Guarino ’20, Landry discusses the lessons he’s learned, the friends he’s made, and insights gleaned from being an international student in the United States. He says, “the experience has really opened my eyes to the opportunities that one can find once they get out of their comfort zone and try something different.”

Brian Guarino: Tell us a little about yourself and your experience as an international student studying in the United States.

My name is Landry Cheta, and I’m a biology major in my sophomore year. I have always been the type to enjoy learning things beyond the four walls of a classroom, and studying abroad—even if it’s just for a few weeks—is an unbelievable chance to get such an experience. Thus far, my own experience abroad has been full of excitement and adventure that I would not have been exposed to back home. From attending the CACC soccer championship final in Connecticut to Texas, where I attended an APPLE Training Institute conference on alcohol awareness and leadership, there have certainly been plenty of fun, yet didactic, events sponsored and facilitated by the university.

What to Consider Before Becoming an International Student

Landry Cheta: Understandably, it’s a challenge and a big decision to be an international student and to study abroad, but I know several students who have either traveled abroad or have planned a trip abroad with Laura Grodewald, GCU’s director of global education programs. Their mantra is the same: ‘Just do it.’

And it’s true; overcoming that first thought of trepidation truly makes the experience even more valuable and worthwhile.

Global Education at Georgian Court

Brian Guarino: How has GCU’s multicultural campus enriched your time at Georgian Court?

Landry Cheta: As president of the Global Lions club, I make it a priority to encourage and inspire students to first acknowledge the depth of opportunities Georgian Court University provides for studying abroad, and then to take up those opportunities and make the most of them. We’ve held events and workshops, including a teach and volunteer abroad workshop, a student panel featuring others who studied abroad, an internship and experiential learning fair, and a global scholarship workshop. Bringing oneself and an open mind to any of these events marks the first step toward taking control of the future and making the most out of the opportunities available.

As international students, we all bring a different perspective to GCU, stemming from our different backgrounds. We come from such different education systems, but we’ve come to understand that we can use that to our advantage.

As part of the Georgian Court Lions soccer team, I have the pleasure of being surrounded by international students from various backgrounds and nationalities, including those who are German, French, Italian, and others from different parts of the U.K. Although we all agree that the culture is vastly different between our country and America, I—and my friends Rhys Cotter (above center) and Jay Abraham (above right)—don’t have the challenge of having to learn a new language. However, although we tease the other internationals a bit about their English, or lack thereof, it’s truly admirable to see them progress and learn so much about a foreign culture. Sometimes they correct us!

Story contributed by GCU English major Brian Guarino ’20, as told by biology major and soccer player Landry Cheta ’22. For more about Landry, see the Endnote in the Winter 2020 issue of GCU Magazine.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.