Ruth Taye

Country: Ethiopia

Major/Minor: Computer Information Systems

Graduation: May 2018

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Why did you choose JMU?

I knew that I wanted to major in a business related field while in high school. So, as I began searching for schools, I paid special attention to each university’s business program, and JMU’s business school stood out for me! Their Computer Information Systems program is among the top in the country and to me, that was very important. However, I didn’t just consider the academic concept of JMU when I was applying, I also saw pictures of the campus online and I loved it! Even from the images that were posted on the website, it was clear that JMU radiates positive energy. I knew from that moment that JMU was going to be my happy place.

What is your favorite class?

My favorite class so far has been my African American literature class, ENG 260. I have always loved reading as well as learning about black history and this class combined the two aspects in the most amazing way possible! We got to read a lot of great pieces by authors such as W.E. Dubois, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. I loved reading the poems and short stories that these authors wrote about their lives and experiences. It allowed me to see the world of slavery, as well as other significant black history moments in a new way and I loved everything about it! 

Besides studying, how do you occupy your time?

I love cooking! It’s one of my favorite things to do and now that I live in an apartment off campus, I get to experiment with different recipes from various countries. I also like working out (so I can burn off all the calories I consumed while cooking and eating) and taking various group fitness classes such as Zumba. And now that JMU’s University Recreation Center is remodeled, it makes working out even more enjoyable. I love hanging out with my friends and my new hobby is hiking! It’s a great way to admire nature, get together with friends and get a good workout in!

What do you like best about JMU?

Now that I’ve spent almost 2 years here, I can say that my favorite aspect so far has been the kindness and generosity that most of the people generate here. I got a chance to really figure out where my place is through the various clubs that JMU provides and through that I was able to meet amazing people that have become close friends. 

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

Don’t be afraid to try new things! There are countless opportunities here designed to connect like-minded people together and unless you’re willing to leave your comfort zone and venture into new adventures and opportunities, you will end up missing out! It will be scary at first, but it’ll be worth it! 

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