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Michelle Lee

Michelle smiling outside

Home Country: USA/South Korea
Major/Minor: Media Arts and Design/Art minor
Graduation: May 2015


Why did you choose JMU?

Originally, I chose JMU because the Media Arts and Design major stood out to me. I was interested in studying the media because of my desire to have a career in doing digital media or writing for non-profit organizations, so I decided to come to JMU. But after I came to visit the campus through the CHOICES program, I fell in love with the school itself. I saw how beautiful the Quad was, and how the campus has filled with enthusiasm everywhere. I felt that JMU would be the perfect college for me to be active and grow as a person. Now it’s my second home where I love what I study and I enjoy what I do here. Choosing JMU over any other college was one of the best decisions I’d ever made.

What is your favorite class?

My favorite class is SMAD 302: Special Topics. Last summer, I studied abroad and went to Urbino, Italy to study Multimedia Journalism, which is a special topic for the SMAD 302 course. While I was there, I learned about and did extensive training for feature writing for the web, photography and videography. I had a blast learning about and getting to work on projects that applied these subjects! But it wasn’t just the things I did in the classroom that made this course interesting for me. Being in a foreign setting, I was immersed in a different culture and got to meet a lot of new people, whether it was to interview them for my article or just to make new friends.

Besides studying, how do you occupy your time?

I am a lover of all things creative. In my spare time, I like to paint, draw and do photography. I also enjoy traveling or playing my ukulele. After a busy day, my perfect night off would be a cup of tea and a good movie. But my greatest hobby is going on spontaneous adventures with my friends. I love to try new things and to break out of routine to do something fun. So if you’re bored one night, step outside for a walk around campus. You might find something exciting! 

What clubs/activities are you involved with at JMU?

Here on campus, JMU provides a large number of clubs and organizations where students can get involved and find their niche. Because culture is a great interest of mine, I am involved with several minority organizations. I am currently Senior Advisor of the Korean Student Association and perform in culture shows for Asian organizations. I also work for JMU’s Office of Technology and Design as a photographer and intern at Sawhill Gallery. 

What do you like best about JMU?

JMU is a wonderful school for many reasons, but what I love most about it is the community. Everyone here, whether a student, a faculty member or a bus driver, is so kind and welcoming. I’ve never gone through a day when someone didn’t hold a door open for another person or say “Thank you” for little acts of kindness. The warm atmosphere at JMU encourages its students to jump into all kinds of opportunities without a fear of insecurities or failures. We’re all here to live and grow together, and the people at JMU don’t just say the message; they show it.

What advice would you give to international students who are considering studying at JMU?

Leaving home to go to another country is always scary, but it’s also an adventure. No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll see that JMU welcomes all cultural backgrounds. So don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone and explore! In no time after coming to the JMU, you’ll naturally feel at home where you’ll make amazing friends, love the things you get involved with, and make unforgettable memories!