How did you hear about St. Mike’s?
My Mom is American so I was going to come to the States anyway. I was looking for colleges that had ski programs so I looked at all of the colleges on the East Coast that had skiing programs. When I was visiting my grandparents in Florida, St. Mike’s invited me to visit; I did and I liked it a lot. I just stuck with St. Mike’s.
Why did you choose Saint Michael’s College?
I’m in computer science. I chose St. Mike’s more for the skiing. It has a very good skiing program and I met Gus and Gus was amazing. Gus is the head Alpine Ski Coach. And then Burlington; I just loved it here.
How have you made it your ‘Home Away From Home’?
I have a lot of international friends that are in the same boat as I am; they made me feel at home right when I got here. The skiing has taken up so much of my time that I don’t have a lot of time to miss home. When I’m skiing I’m at home; whether it’s at home or at St. Mike’s, if I’m skiing then I’m at home.
What kind of contact do you have with Alumni?
I met a couple of alumni that were on the ski team last year when they came up here to visit. The whole ski team is like a big family. Everyone was very nice to me when I first got on campus, very nice.
Can you tell us more about the family dynamics of the ski team?
I didn’t know anyone when I got here; I just introduced myself. The thing is you have to be with someone when you go up the lift, you have to sit next to somebody, and it’s going to be somebody from your team; that’s when you start socializing. And, just training every single day of the winter, you’re bound to become very good friends and hang out a lot. The ski team, those are my main friends; those are the people I hang out with most of the time.
Have you told any of your friends in Lebanon about your experience at St. Mike’s?
A lot of friends, a lot of people don’t want to leave Lebanon, they go to Europe. Europe is easy; you can take a 4-hour flight and be home. The States are very far and not a lot of people want to go so far away from home. Everyone I’ve talked to about this, I’ve told them at St. Mike’s you feel like you’re at home. You’re not going to miss home as much as any of the other schools. I don’t feel the need to go home as much as I did when I got here the first day.
How does Lebanon differ from Colchester and the Burlington area?
Lebanon is pretty similar, land wise. We have the mountains very close to the Mediterranean Sea, so that’s pretty similar. I don’t know how it is in the summer here, I’m about to find out, but I heard it’s pretty awesome. Winters, it gets pretty cold in Lebanon but never as cold as here and there’s no ice or the extreme temperatures that Vermont gets. It was challenging. I bought an enormous amount of gear to stay warm during the winter; otherwise fall was amazing. The leaves and the colors, that was out of this world.