What is your favorite campus tradition? My favorite campus tradition would have to be when the band does its unique game day traditions. The day includes a morning march out to wake up campus, singing songs in the dining hall, playing a concert right before the formal march out, and performing pregame and halftime performances.
What is your favorite spot on campus? Easily, my favorite spot on campus would have to be St. Mary’s Lake. From time to time, I like to take a quick jog and spend time at one of the prayer sites located on the lakes to appreciate the time I spend here.
What is your best Notre Dame memory? My best Notre Dame memory was the first time I marched out from the Main Building to the stadium and performed the pregame and halftime shows for the football game against Rice. It was such an exhilarating experience to trot out of the famous Notre Dame Stadium tunnel and onto the field to perform for 80,000 Notre Dame Football fans.
What is your favorite Dining Hall Meal? It has to be a tie between shrimp fajitas and make your own mac and cheese, followed by my favorite dessert: French vanilla frozen yogurt with caramel sauce.
What is your favorite thing about dorm life? Everyone in the dorm is so inclusive. We try to create as much of a familial feeling within our dorms. Our Resident Assistants do a great job of fostering community between underclassmen and upperclassmen. You can go across the hall and play Nintendo 64 Mario Kart with a senior, talk with a junior about studying abroad, and even talk with the rector about fantasy football. The dorm community is such an integral part of the Notre Dame identity.
What clubs/activities are you involved in? Alto Saxophone in the Marching Band, Student Government, Student International Business Council Project Leader, Tour Guide, Filipino American Student Organization
What made you choose Notre Dame? The first time I visited I Notre Dame, there was such a warm and vibrant community. The upperclassmen I met greeted me with amazing hospitality, telling me about all of the great things Notre Dame had to offer. From business and cultural clubs to marching band and research opportunities, there were so many ways to get involved with whatever you wanted to pursue. In addition, coming from a Catholic background, I felt that going to Notre Dame would only enrich my faith life and give me opportunities to understand what it means to be a member of the Catholic Church.
What is your favorite part about being an international student at Notre Dame? One of the great things about being an international student is the opportunity to share your culture with the Notre Dame community. Although I am from just across the border, it is so much fun to talk about the differences between the Canadian and American lifestyle.
How did you adjust to life on campus? During a Notre Dame dinner in Vancouver, one alumni gave me one crucial piece of advice for the first year ofcollege – initiate the conversation. Many students are nervous to meet eachother, so I went outside my comfort zone and started conversations with peopleI sat beside in class, at lunchtime, and other club meetings. Eventually, I was able to make several connections between different friends and meet more people. Although I am far away from my family, I have a close network of friends that I can go to talk for support.
How do you celebrate your culture/heritage at ND? As part of the Filipino American Student Organization, we go to dinner once a month together, cook Filipino food, and sing karaoke. We also have a show in the spring called Fiestang where we perform traditional and modern Filipino dances and serve Filipino cuisine in the dining hall. Additionally, to celebrate my Canadian nationality, I like to make Canadian poutine and other foods specific to Canadato celebrate Canadian thanksgiving with my other friends.
What advice do you have for international students? Be open to new adventures! There is so much to do and explore on campus. Try to take advantage of all of the academic initiatives, join a new club, and get involved with your hall community. If you play an instrument, join band! You can join marching band and travel to some cool away games, or join a pep band and travel to support our teams at March Madness. Most importantly, try to take a break from the rush of university life and take a walk around campus to enjoy the beauty of being at such a wonderful place.