Jeong Jeong Ra

“To be honest? Two reasons I chose SMC: One, it has the highest transfer rate to USC and the UCs. And two, it’s practically right next to the beach!”

All the way from Nagoya, Japan, Jeong Jeong Ra was in his seventh month at SMC and loving it. “I knew that the weather is perfect here, and that it’s the best way to get into USC and other colleges. Plus, before my classes start, I can actually go out surfing. Or at least, I try!” says Jeong Jeong, a ‘dude-in-the-making’ if ever there was one. But quite beyond learning the art of ‘hanging ten,’ Jeong Jeong actually has some very serious goals in mind.

“I wanted to come to the US because it’s really the center of the world in business. So I want to learn some American styles and techniques of business before I go back to Japan. My father has a business back home, and watching him work made me realize that’s what I want to do as well.” And Jeong Jeong reports that he’s had some strong taskmasters at SMC. “I had a Math 20 night class with Mr. DellaRocca, who really pushed us hard. He motivated me to be very focused, and he had this great teaching style. He would say things like, ‘I don’t really care if you get an A, but I do expect you to learn. And he kept up with this message all through the semester. He was a great teacher, and not at all like teachers I had in Japan.”

Jeong Jeong reports that he doesn’t miss his homeland all that much. “Friends and family? Sure. But we have great restaurants here, and it’s easy to get anything you can find in Japan. And I’ve made some great friends here, too. We have 34,000 students at SMC, and they come from all over the world. I meet people here from countries that I didn’t even know existed. And that’s just another great thing about the US,” he adds. “You have a lot of business opportunities, but also a lot of friendship opportunities.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​