Quick overview:
  • Hometown & Country: Shantou, Guangdong - China
  • High School / Previous Institution: Shantou No.1 High School
  • Major: Health Science Minor: Asian Studies
  • Graduation: May 2021

To contact Nuotian (Heather) send an e-mail to:

Why did you choose JMU?

t’s a beautiful accidental chance that I found the website of James Madison University on google. I saw the beautiful campus pictures on the website and that really attacked me to study there. I was interested in nutrition and I found that JMU offered this major. Now I studied in Health Science which make me very enjoyable and joy. I appreciate JMU offering me a chance to study something I like in the United States.

What do you like best about JMU?

What I love most about JMU are the people. They are really nice and friendly. Once I was standing in front of a bus stop to get back to campus. However, I had missed the last shuttle to the campus. It was a very cold winter day. I kept standing outside for close to an hour. At that time, an old man came by and told me that I had already missed the bus and gave me a hot chocolate he had bought me. I was moved and very thankful for his help. He made me feel warm, just like I was at home. JMU and even outside of the campus the community ia really nice. Everyone is willing to help you. I am really appreciative of it.

What surprised you the most during your first semester?

During my first semester, i definitely experienced culture shock. It definitely caught me by surprise but it became a meaningful experience for me. As an international student, there are lots of habits and lifestyles that are totally different from what I am used to back in China. Food definitely being one of them. While there are many great and convenient dining halls and many food options, it still took me a month to get used to the food here. By virtue of trying different types of food in the dining hall my body got used to these new flavors and new food. Before I came to the United States, my main staple food was rice. After I came to JMU, it became hamburgers and pizza. One interesting saying that you will hear quite often on campus is “Freshman fifteen”. Freshman fifteen refers to the fifteen pounds that new students will gained by virtue of eating on campus. Afterall, JMU’s food is ranked the top 5 all US colleges. Now, you understand how easy it is to gain weight. I would have never thought that I would really gain 15 pounds. This saying is real!

What is your favorite class?

My favorite class is called American culture. In this class, I learned a lot about the different cultures in the United States that I had never heard about. I also took part in an interesting program called the Conversation Partner Program. This is an awesome program that helps you make friends with domestic students. You will be matched to a domestic student in JMU and you guys can try to communicate with each other or even hang out! I really enjoyed when I was in this program especially as really helped me improve my oral English.

What do you like to do during your free time?

Outside of my studies, I spend my time participating in student organization, attending activities and events and I hang out with my friends. I am interested in Hip-hop and K-pop, so I play an active role in the Korean Student Association’s and Chinese Student Scholar Association’s culture shows. It allows me to make new friends and, at the same time, provides a good chance to show my dancing skills to everyone. I really enjoy participating in student organizations. The more involved you are the less you will feel lonely by virtue of being in in a foreign country and not being in company of your family. It makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Sometimes I hang out with my friends and we get bubble tea off campus. Having some girl talk is another way that I spend my weekend.

Back to Top