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Global Grads Ambassadors are graduate students interested in creating a strong global community and serving as a resource for international students at UNC. They are happy to share their experience, answer specific questions and provide practical tips to incoming and current international students.

Reach out to them for information on: things to do upon arrival (state ID, bank account, SSN, cell phone, insurance, utilities, etc.); transportation options (public transportation, biking, buying a car/insurance/drivers license, carshare, etc.); housing/living (places to live, where to buy furniture, grocery shopping, etc); transition to academic life as an international graduate student; transition to American culture; parenting and school resources; etc.

Name Department/Degree

(projected graduation)

Home Country Email Photo Talk to me about… Brief bio/interests/hobbies
Karthik Adapa

(he/him/his)

Carolina Health Informatics Program/PhD in Health Informatics

(May 2022)

India karthikk@live.unc.edu finding jobs/internships on campus
  • Soccer, tennis, and movies
Esteban Agudo

(he/him/his)

Biology/PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

(May 2024)

Venezuela eagudo@live.unc.edu

eagudoadriani@gmail.com

things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to american culture;

community engagement

  • I am a second year PhD student interested in Marine ecology and climate change.
  • Among my hobbies are scuba diving, hiking, rock climbing, biking, running and soccer (playing and watching).
  • Also, I love to visit new places to eat and drink
Andre Assumpcao

(he/him/his)

Public Policy/PhD in Public Policy

(May 2020)

Brazil aassumpcao@unc.edu Andre Assumpcao things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture

  • Sports: baseball, tennis, running, poker…anything goes!
  • Cooking
  • Computer programming
Aman Barot

(he/him/his)

 

Statistics and Operations Research/PhD in Statistics

(May 2021)

India abarot@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;
housing/living;
transition to academic life;
  • I enjoy cooking and watching indie films in free time.
Sampreeti Bhattacharya

(she/her/hers)

Chemistry/PhD in Chemistry

(May 2023)

India sampriti@live.unc.edu Sampreeti Bhattacharya things to do upon arrival;

transportation options

  • Creative writing, singing, listening to music, painting
Quentin Bouvier

(he/him/his)

Romance Studies/PhD in French Literature

(May 2022)

France qbouvier@live.unc.edu transportation options;

housing/living

  • Reading; sports; chess
Juan Carvajal Garcia

(he/him/his)

Genetics and Molecular Biology/PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology

(December 2020)

Spain jcarvaja@email.unc.edu Juan Carvajal Garcia things to do upon arrival;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • I like basketball and soccer (I play in a local team). I also enjoy hiking and I like everything to do with science.
Sarah Champagne

(she/her/hers)

School of Media and Journalism/MA in Journalism

(May 2020)

Canada champagne.sarah100@gmail.com Sarah Champagne housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

  • I am a reporter interested in migrations and peace/conflict studies.
  • My hobbies are jogging, bicycle, cooking, reading, hiking.
Kyle Chan

(he/him/his)

Political Science/PhD in Political Science

(May 2023)

Hong Kong kylechan@unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

  • I am a third-year Political Science PhD student. Aside from my work on multi-level structures, I am also a car enthusiast, a home cook, and I love hiking the mountains of NC.
Bogeum Choi

(she/her/hers)

School of Information and Library Science/PhD in Information and Library Science

(May 2022)

South Korea choiboge@live.unc.edu Bogeum Choi things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life

  • Human interactions with the computer/information system intrigues me.
  • I like reading literature, digging music on Youtube, watching relatively old movies, doing yoga, walking with no destination, and eating burritos.
  • I also love to travel even though I don’t get to as much as I’d like to.
Gerard Chung

(he/him/his)

 

School of Social Work/PhD in Social Work

(May 2021)

Singapore gcsk1982@live.unc.edu Gerard Chung transportation options;

housing/living;

community engagement

Huanyu Cong

(she/her/hers)

 

 

Education/Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction

(May 2022)

China huanyuc@live.unc.edu Huanyu Cong transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

  • Interested in education topics and comparisons between west and east
  • Interested in travel and outdoor activities
  • Drawing
Minoo Emami Alagha

(she/her/hers)

Art & Art History/MA in Studio Art

(May 2021)

Iran minooemamiartweb@gmail.com housing/living
  • Art, art history, running, swimming, shopping 
Ting Guan

(she/her/hers)

Social Work/PhD in Social Work

(May 2022)

China tingguan@live.unc.edu housing/living;

transition to academic life;

parenting and school resources;

community engagement

Nataly Guevara

(she/her/hers)

Marine Sciences/PhD in Biological Oceanography

(August 2023)

Ecuador natal7guevara@icloud.com Nataly Guevara all of the above
  • Diving, snorkeling, hiking, reading, dancing, rock climbing
Sugandh Gupta

(she/her/hers)

 

Anthropology/PhD in Anthropology

(December 2021)

India sugandh@live.unc.edu Sugandh Gupta things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture

  • I enjoy conversations over coffee or wine or another beverage.
  • I relish going off to destinations, short excursions, getting rid of mobile phone once in a while! Chapel Hill is a great place to explore through walking and a good company doubles the fun!
Janine Hoelscher

(she/her/hers)

Computer Science/PhD in Computer Science

(May 2023)

Germany jhoelsch@cs.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

parenting and school resources;

community engagement

  • I love the outdoors and I’m very interested in hiking, camping, biking, and climbing.
  • When it’s raining, you can find me in a cafe on Franklin street reading a book.
Sajjad Hussain

(he/him/his)

Curriculum in Global Studies/MA in Global Studies

(May 2019)

Pakistan sajjad.h.changezi@gmail.com Sajjad Hussain things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement;

parenting & school resources

  • I am a social activist and a peace builder from Pakistan.
  • I am studying as a Rotary Peace Fellow.
  • Soccer is my favorite sport.
Kate Huth

(she/her/hers)

Global Studies/MA in Global Studies

(May 2020)

Australia katehuth@hotmail.com

katehuth@gmail.com

things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture

Aslihan Imamoglu

(she/her/hers)

Psychology and Neuroscience/PhD in Cognitive Psychology

(May 2024)

Turkey aslihan@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • I love painting, writing, reading, and rock climbing.
Rene Iwo

(he/him/his)

Sociology/PhD in Sociology

(May 2024)

Indonesia and Canada rene.iwo@unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • In my spare time I love to play piano (just bought an upright piano!), watch shows, bike around, read, learn languages, and complain about the lack of ethnic restaurants in town (without driving to Cary)!
Deepika J

(she/her/hers)

School of Dentistry/PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedicine

(May 2022)

India
deepikaj@ad.unc.edu
Deepika J housing/living;

transportation options;

transition to academic life

  • I am interested in dancing, exploring nature and reading e-books.
Delia Kan

(she/her/hers)

Education/PhD in Education

(May 2023)

Singapore deliakan@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

community engagement

  • Watching Korean dramas/variety shows, reading, travelling, listening to music, finding new food places!  
Seh-Joo Kwon

(she/her/hers)

Psychology and Neuroscience/PhD in Developmental Psychology

(May 2023)

South Korea sehjook@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

  • Growing up, I lived in 9 countries and 3 different states in the US!
  • In North Carolina, I enjoy trying out new restaurants and breweries, and going to different trails in the fall.
Adnan Lakdawala

(he/him/his)

 

Carolina Health Informatics Program/PSM in Biomedical and Health Informatics

(Aug 2022)

India adnanl@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;
transportation options;
housing/living;
transition to academic life;
community engagement
  • Coffee/tea and cheese aficionado, photography, running, numismatics, TV addict.
Francisco Laso

(he/him/his)

Geography/PhD in Geography

(May 2021)

Ecuador laso@live.unc.edu Francisco Laso transportation options;

transition to academic life

Other: Workers’ Union at UNC

  • I study human-environment interactions in the Galapagos Islands.
  • You will often find me riding my bike, tending my garden, or fighting for worker’s rights.
Yi-En Liao

(she/her/hers)

Pharmacy/PhD in Pharmaceutical Science

(May 2023)

Taiwan yienliao@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

parenting and school resources;

community engagement

Yuanye Ma

(she/her/hers)

School of Information and Library Science/PhD in Information and Library Science

(May 2022)

China yuanye1@live.unc.edu Yuanye Ma things to do upon arrival;

housing/living

 

  • I am interested in studying how people understand the concept of privacy and factors that give rise to people’s expectations of privacy.
  • I am a regular runner and am interested in attending all sorts of group exercise activities on and off campus.
Itay Machtei

(he/him/his)

Political Science/PhD in Political Science

(May 2024)

Israel machtei@unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

moving with a dependent spouse

  • Interested in comparative political economy and state-market relations
 

María Inés Martínez Echagüe

(she/they)

 

Sociology Department/PhD in Sociology

(May 2024)

Uruguay
inesma@live.unc.edu
housing/living;
transition to academic life;
transition to American culture;
community engagement
  • Feminism, poetry, yoga, dancing, writing, and drinking beer.
Caitilin McMillan

(she/her/hers)

Geography/PhD in Geography

(May 2023)

Canada and UK caitilin@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life

  • I am pursuing my PhD in Geography and mental health.
  • As a Rotary Peace Scholar, my work focuses on peacebuilding, women’s rights and decolonization.
  • Before joining as a grad student, I worked with citizen groups, local governments and NGOs across North America, West Africa, Europe and Asia.
  • I love living in Chapel Hill and exploring the beautiful natural surroundings. 
Ilich Mejía

(he, him, his)

School of Media and Journalism/MA in Strategic Communication

(May 2020)

Honduras
ilich@unc.edu
housing/living;
transition to academic life;
transition to American culture;
parenting and school resources;
community engagement
  • I enjoy keeping up with popular culture so I am interested in fun storytelling through literature, film, editorial work, and music.
Pablo Miño

(he, him, his)

Media and Journalism/PhD in Media and Communication

(May 2022)

Chile
pabloamn@live.unc.edu
Pablo Miño things to do upon arrival;
transportation options;
housing/living;
transition to academic life;
transition to American culture
  • Music, hiking, traveling, finding the best places to eat and drink, spending time with my wife and two children
Risa Murase

(she/her/hers)

Sociology/PhD in Sociology

(May 2023)

Japan risa@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture

  • Running, playing tennis, and beer 🙂
Emmanuel Osayande

(he/him/his)

History/PhD in History

(May 2023)

Nigeria emmannuelosayande@unc.edu Emmanuel Osayande transition to academic life;

community engagement

Mustafa Kemal OZALP

(he/him/his)

Biology/PhD in Biology

(May 2022)

Turkey mkoz@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement;

questions related to spouses, such as insurance, banking, activities, etc.

  • Philosophy, djing, cooking, baking
“Shelly” Xiaolu Pan

(she/her/hers)

Biology and Biomedical Sciences/PhD in Pathobiology

(August 2024)

China xlp@unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

parenting and school resources;

community engagement

Shreya Parikh

(she/her/hers)

Sociology/PhD in Sociology

(May 2022)

India/France shreya.parikh@unc.edu Shreya Parikh all of the above
  • I study minority religions-state relations in France and the US.
  • I was born and raised in Ahmedabad, India. Prior to coming to UNC, I spent seven years studying and teaching in France.
Yashvi Patel

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Science & Engineering/MS in Environmental Engineering
(December 2018)
India
yjspatel@gmail.com
Yashvi Patel things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • A passionate environmentalist, always found daydreaming about food.
Zahabiya Petiwala

(she/her/hers)

 

Health Policy and Management/Master in Healthcare Administration

(May 2019)

India pzahabiya@gmail.com housing/living;

transition to academic life;

Thanh Phan

(she/her/hers)

Biophysics/PhD in Biophysics

(May 2024)

Vietnam phantn@live.unc.edu transportation options;

housing/living;

community engagement

  • Food, Movies, Nature, Science
Mugdha Polimera

(she/her/hers)

Physics and Astronomy/PhD in Astrophysics

(May 2022)

India mugpol@live.unc.edu Mugdha Polimera all of the above
  • I am an aspiring Astrostatistician interested in uncovering hidden truths of the Universe and in implementing intelligent Machine Learning techniques.
  • love to sing (will jam and/or karaoke anytime!), cook, eat out, travel, explore.
  • always up to do anything that doesn’t involve sports.
Yousef Qan’ir

(he/him/his)

Nursing/PhD in Nursing

(December 2021)

Jordan Yousefq@email.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

parenting and school resources;

community engagement

  • Yousef graduated from the ‘Hashemite University-Jordan’ in 2014 with a Master Degree in nursing.
  • Yousef worked as a clinical nurse specialist and nurse manager in his homeland and the United Arab Emirates for more than 10 years.
  • Yousef is interested in studying topics related to health behaviors and self-management among cancer survivors.
  • He is currently working on a dissertation examining influencing factors impact engagement in Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercise to manage incontinence among prostate cancer survivors.
Yiqing Qian

(she/her/hers)

Health Behavior/PhD in Health Behavior

(May 2023)

China
yqq@live.unc.edu
transition to academic life;
transition to American culture;
community engagement
  • In my research, I am passionate about applying quantitative and qualitative methods to study and intervene in people’s mental health;
  • In my non-academic life, baking, volleyball, board games, and traveling have been my most salient stress busters.
Sertanya Reddy

(she/her/hers)

Geography/PhD in Geography

(May 2019)

South Africa
sertanya.reddy@gmail.com
Sertanya Reddy things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • My research interests include global education, youth studies and feminist theory.
  • I enjoy cooking, baking, yoga and walking. And I love writing poetry!
Manuel Sanchez

(he/him/his)

Romance Studies/PhD in Spanish

(May 2021)

Honduras
manujovi@live.unc.edu
Manuel Sanchez transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • interested in decolonial thinking, cultural studies, performance, film in/from Latin America, and Latin American literature (especially those from Central America).
Pasuth Thothaveesansuk

(he/him/his)

History/PhD in History

(May 2024)

Thailand pasuth@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • I study the Cold War in Central Europe and East Asia.
  • Originally from Bangkok, I went to college in Virginia before coming to Carolina.
  • I enjoy running, drinking coffee/beer/wine, keeping up with politics, and watching soccer, college basketball, and other sports.
Angelina Pei-Tzu Tsai

(she/her/hers)

Psychology and Neuroscience/PhD in Clinical Psychology

(May 2024)

Taiwan peitzu@live.unc.edu housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture

  • Cooking, baking, traveling, hiking, playing piano, rock climbing
Guolin Wang

(he/him/his)

Information and Library Science/MS in Information Science

(May 2021)

China guolin@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

  • I enjoy playing basketball, swimming and watching movies in my spare time.
Shuguang Wang

(she/her/hers)

Education/PhD in Education

(May 2022)

China hunrose@live.unc.edu Shuguang Wang transition to American culture;

parenting and school resources

  • literature/Ancient Chinese literature
  • history&philosophy
  • concerts
Xinxin Wang

(she/her/hers)

School of Education/PhD in education

(May 2021)

China xxcheer@live.unc.edu housing/living;
transition to academic life;
transition to American culture
  • My current interested research topics include academic and social adaptation of international students to U.S. higher education, campus culture and campus support, and critical multicultural education.
  • I am open to requests for advice on every aspect that help you to better adapt to the new environment!
Shekhar Yeshwante

(he/him/his)

Pharmacy/PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

(May 2024)

India shekhary@email.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

community engagement

Linyu Yu

(she/her/hers)

Education/PhD in Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies

(May 2024)

China linyu@live.unc.edu transition to academic life;

community engagement;

work to school transitions;

finding internships and jobs as an international student

  • I am interested in how people regulate their own learning, and collaborate with others in online settings.
  • I enjoy hiking, Zumba, cooking, and cats.
Eden Y Zewdie

(she/her/hers)

Pharmacology/PhD in Pharmacology

(May 2024)

Ethiopia ezewdie@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;

transportation options;

housing/living;

transition to academic life;

transition to American culture;

community engagement

  • Interests: Pharmacology, Translational Medicine
  • Hobbies: traveling, reading, dancing, singing, sports
Minlu Zhang

(she/her/hers)

Linguistics/MA in Linguistics

(December 2020)

China minlu@live.unc.edu things to do upon arrival;
transportation options;
transition to academic life;
community engagement
  • Writing, reading, cooking. Music and art.
Yani Zhao

(she/her/hers)

Pharmacy/PhD in Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

(May 2024)

China yani61@live.unc.edu community engagement
  • Sports