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Weiyi Pan

Growing up in Beijing, China, Weiyi Pan is the only child of loving parents whose guidance and support she has always relied on.

“Deciding to come to the U.S. was really the first decision I have ever made completely on my own. And it’s the best decision I’ve made,” she says.

The high school she attended in Beijing organized a winter camp to bring students over to The Ohio State University so they could learn about opportunities to study abroad. One of the teachers told her about the Preferred Pathway, which allows students to complete an associate degree at Columbus State and then apply it to a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State. With Columbus State’s lower tuition, the Preferred Pathway can cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree in half.

“After that trip, I decided I wanted to come to Columbus. But I had not planned far enough ahead to take the test that Ohio State requires. I was so glad that I would still have a chance to come to the U.S.!”

With the help of Columbus State’s International Student Services office , Weiyi took the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and got all of the necessary documentation in order. “They helped me with my visa and my I-20, and made sure I had everything completed to get into Columbus State.”

The support Weiyi got from the International Services staff continued even after she arrived. “The International Student Services office helped me find campus events to go to, and clubs that I was interested in, so I could start to make friends. That really helped me psychologically, because it’s hard when you come here alone and don’t know anyone!”

Through student clubs including Cougars for the Community, The Asian Student Association and the Student Ambassador program, Weiyi soon found her place at Columbus State.

“After I was here for a while, I felt like I knew everyone. The class sizes are small, so you really interact with the professors and get to know them too. It’s a big school, but it feels like a small community.” Weiyi took her involvement one step further by helping form a new campus organization, the Chinese Club.

Weiyi now attends Ohio State, where she transferred to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. “I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities that have opened up as a result of my decision to come to Columbus State. They really do everything they can to help students.”