“My very first day at SMC was when I got photographed and interviewed for this story. And that just made it even more exciting to be here.”
With international students at SMC, arriving here normally comes about through the advice of friends. And sometimes, through love. “The day I was photographed for this profile,” said Sianny Piedra, “was something I think I’ll always remember. It was like I was somehow being welcomed into the life here. I’m from Costa Rica, where we have an incredible ecosystem with volcanoes and jungles and two oceans. I’d heard about how great the College is from a friend of mine who’s been here for two years. But also, my fiancé is from here, although he’s been living in Costa Rica for five years. So when he decided to come home to California, I came with him. And next year, we’re getting married!”
Beyond making her wedding plans in Costa Rica, Sianny was also getting feverishly busy at SMC. “I already have my BA from back home, but now I’m just studying ESL really intensely. And eventually, I’ll start taking a lot of Business classes, because I don’t yet have all the skills that I need to work here,” Sianny says in perfect English. “I’ll have to learn accounting and finance—all of it. And then I plan to get my MBA, hopefully through UCLA. It’s all going to be some very tough work, but I know that I’ll be able to finish it, and then make myself successful in America.”
“I’m studying my ESL now with Elaine Afable, and she is incredibly experienced, and I definitely wanted that. She is so energetic, and she understands the problems that we foreign students have in studying in a different language. And she has such great teaching skills that I’m always excited about learning from her.” Sianny adds, “I think that my brother and sister will also be coming to SMC very soon.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.