OU Cousins and Xuelian

international_header2_950_300_c1 The University of Oklahoma offers an amazing program called “OU Cousins,” where students from the United States are matched with international students who have come to OU from all over the world. Through the program, students are made more familiar with the customs and cultures of their “cousin’s” country, and in most cases, new friendships are made. I was especially excited to be matched, because before coming to college, I knew maybe one or two people from another country, but they had lived in the United States for most of their lives and so there were no cultural differences to explore or language barriers to work through; interactions with them never pushed me to question my culture or my beliefs, and I wanted that. OU Cousins was the perfect opportunity for me to personally get to know a person of a very different background, and it has been amazing. China map with province   About two months ago I met my OU Cousin, Xuelian, a quirky business major from a city in southwest China called Chengdu. She adopted the name Shirley upon coming to school here, and as she is a sophomore now, she plans to graduate with her bachelor’s degree and either begin working or move on to graduate school. Both of her parents are in business, which highly influenced her choice in major, and she told me that she almost went to the University of Arizona, but the dry, hot weather there was not appealing, so Oklahoma became her new home. We first met on a game-day (Saturday) when the campus was littered with drunken football fans and tailgating tents. Shirley said she didn’t care much for football, and this confession added to our bond, as I happened to share that sentiment, so we decided to walk around campus together. To my horror, she had not yet been to my favorite study spot — The Great Reading Room — so, of course, I took her there immediately. We also went out for coffee, and I found out quickly that she considers herself to be a bit of a coffee aficionado. I know very little about Starbucks and the subculture that it has become, but when Shirley proudly presented her “Gold Card” to the cashier to pay for our drinks, I understood that I had a lot to learn. She mentioned to me that she was especially excited to be able to practice her English with me, and though I am studying Spanish, she shared a few sentences in her native language (Chinese) and explained their meanings. We haven’t been able to spend as much time together this semester as we would have liked, but because we’re both staying in Norman for the next couple of years, we’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other better and to go out for more coffee. ☺ 1620613_368826353269150_4956085662310744456_n

  1 comment for “OU Cousins and Xuelian

  1. Casee Cole
    December 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Moriah! That’s really cool that your OU Cousin is staying for several years! I laughed out loud at your football comment! (I don’t prefer it either.) Also, I didn’t even know Starbucks has a gold card! It is so great that OU has a program that brings international and local students together! Hopefully you and your cousin get to know each other even more through the years!

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