Pooyan Mirjalili finds a second home at Kent State University
Originally from Tehran, Iran, Pooyan Mirjalili is currently a junior biology pre-med major at Kent State University. He was 19 when he first enrolled at Kent State and he says his choice to come here was an easy one. When first searching for schools, he looked to his friends and family for suggestions. In Tehran, he had several acquaintances who had previously studied at Kent State and each had nothing but great things to say about the university. Along with those recommendations, Pooyan was also please to learn that Kent State tuition also fit within his budget. But his final decision to attend Kent State was based on the positive relationships Kent State forges with its international students.
When Pooyan first stepped onto campus, he immediately noticed how friendly and welcoming the people were – other students, as well as faculty and staff. Kent State's large, diverse campus appealed to him greatly. He recalls how enthusiastic his academic advisors were to help him adjust to life not only at Kent State, but in the United States as well. Pooyan appreciates their help in scheduling classes to guarantee a timely graduation and assisting him to find housing on campus. He found the staff of the Office of Global Education especially helpful with support. "They answered any questions I had during my first few semesters here," Pooyan recalls. "I truly appreciate all the help and assistance I received." Pooyan has stayed in contact with the Office of Global Education, where he eventually obtained a student worker position helping the office with an assortment of projects and duties.
During his time at Kent State, Pooyan has become increasingly involved in numerous organizations and clubs across campus. Initially, though, he was not always so active. "When I first came to Kent State, I was extremely shy," he laughs. "The first semester, I did not join any organizations at all, but by my second semester, I felt confident enough to become more involved on campus." Over time, he joined UNICEF KSU, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the Biology Club and was recently elected senator for the College of Arts and Sciences in the Undergraduate Student Government. In addition, he maintains a full schedule of classes, participates in off-campus research and volunteers in his free time.
Kent State has greatly enhanced Pooyan’s leadership skills. One of his favorite classes was the Peer Leadership Course in which he was enrolled last year. "It helped me with my public speaking and definitely helped me win my election to student senator," he says. "I also learned skills that would prepare me for the future." Eventually, Pooyan wants to attend medical school after he completes his undergraduate degree, and he believes the support he has received throughout his time at Kent State will enable him to pursue that goal.
Pooyan's most satisfying achievement was winning the Undergraduate Student Government election. He also loves that he was able to join clubs with his many friends from Iran who also attended Kent State, as well as making many new friends across campus. He understands how difficult it is for international students to move to another country and that it takes time to adjust, so he advises other international students to "get involved" and suggests that Kent State can help them do that.
“Kent State makes me feel welcome here, and Kent State is my second home.”