Quick overview:
  • Hometown(s) & country(ies): Beijing, China
  • High School/Previous Institution: Beijing New Talent academy
  • Major: Finance  Minor: Educational Media
  • Graduation: May 2022

To contact Haomiao (Ivy) send an e-mail to:

Why did you choose JMU?

Although I like busy cities, I wanted to prioritize and focus on building my knowledge in college, instead. It became clear to me that spending my time as an undergraduate student in a quiet area was my main criteria! JMU quickly became my first choice. Aside from the mellow atmosphere, JMU also allows me to integrate into the lives of locals and help me better understand American culture while giving me the opportunity to improve my English. The JMU's cafeteria ranking and reputation are very good, because I am a person who likes to try different types of food. The weather here is also very similar to my hometown, which actually helped me better transition especially since it was my first time living far from home.

What surprised you the most during your first semester?

Everyone here is surprisingly friendly. If you see a stranger on the road, they will often give you a warm smile which sometimes has been enough to brighten up my whole day. When you enter the building, someone will hold the door for you. Everyone has developed this habit. This also forms the unique "culture" of JMU. I was gladly surprised to find out how JMU takes care of international students. When there are problems in your life, you can ask your LINKer, as LINKers serve as a resource and mentors for those seeking help in academic, social, and cultural adaptation. Academic adjustment and  studying in particular was challenging for me. Fortunately in the Student Success Center i relied a lot on the Writing Center. I thought I knew how to write a good paper, but I didn’t know how to cite the source at first, fortunately i found a tutor who helped me modify my essay.    

What is your favorite class?

My favorite course is Math205 because my professor Dr. Paul Warne is a very interesting person. He drew my attention in various ways during class. His teaching method is different from all the professors I have had. I can feel his love for mathematics and his passion for teaching. I can not only learn from him, but also enjoy the process of learning. I can also appreciate the power of mathematics. I am actually not a math person, but since I took his class, I find that I am no longer afraid of this subject.

What do you like to do during your free time?

I like to read books, especially suspense novels. I particularly lik the ones that make me want to read the entire book in one sitting. I also like photography as I like to record my life through my camera lenses. Aside from that, I also like to watch movies. Basically, I have to watch at least one movie a week, and I am a girl who is not afraid of watching horror movies. I’m also actively involved with some community organizations, such as Bridges International and Women conversation. I have participated in many events with Americans. Some of the events that I participated in were the bonfire party which is rare in my country, or even making apple pies, going to dance parties and many more fun activities! For women's conversation, we discuss interesting topics every week, such as the views of different countries on marriage, and different habits about dating in different cultural backgrounds. Thanks to these groups, I made a lot of friends and it has made my college life much more colorful!

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