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by Alumni Posts on February 10, 2014

in In Saint Louis

I’ve lived in St. Louis for almost 5 and a half years away from my native Taiwan. I have my days when I feel like a gypsy, but I find they are counterbalanced by the warmth of the people in St. Louis. This notorious weather cannot stop me from enjoying the “littleness” of Fontbonne; being a small school, I find my classmates and teachers are always willing to stop for a chat. About two weeks ago one of my teachers approached me about to work with 3 bilingual families at a local institute for a potential practicum. A week ago, I rediscovered a love for my major through the novel experience of working with a different set of clientele. And this week, I’ve had so many lovely conversations about history, faith, spirituality, TV shows, broken chairs, online classes, The Walking Dead, and Opera. I keep a list of awesome quotes and this week filled up another page. What a great remedy to the cold, and to my homesickness!


One of the best things about being in a small school is that sense of welcoming warmth everyone experiences from finding supportive friends, no matter where you are from. Ultimately, they become your family. I was amazed at how easy it was to bring two of my “families” together. From my homeland, Justin is a part of my Taiwan family, and he was fortunate enough to meet my”family” here at Fontbonne this weekend.

Justin came to visit me from Ann Arbor, where he studies at the University of Michigan. Justin and I both grew up together in Taiwan, so we have been lifelong friends (I was 7, he was 4, when we first met.) Our homes away from home are very different to Taipei City, and we chewed each other’s ears of trying to describe and outdo each other in who lived in the better city. Of course, I can’t compare Ann Arbor to St. Louis, but the best way to amicably settle the dispute was to visit each other.

It only took us 4 years to actually make it happen.

Wow. I cannot describe how incredible the weekend was, not only because I had one of my best friends with me, but because my friends and family in St. Louis welcomed Justin with more than open arms. Several of my friends went out of their way to meet him or to have dinner with us at Duffy’s. The people I introduced him to at Fontbonne welcomed him so warmly that he was overwhelmed by kindness. To say that he was floored at meeting Dr. Golden (“His hands are HUGE”) and Mrs. Golden is an understatement. He left conversations with Fontbonnies feeling immensely honored and loved.

As for sightseeing, I showed him Forest Park, The Art Museum, the Arch, the Courthouse, Union Station, the Courthouse, the Loop… we missed Ted Drewes though, I bitterly regret, and he attempted to watch UMich vs. Penn State football at OB Clark’s in the middle of the Cardinal’s Playoffs. Should we have gone anywhere else? Let me know so I can take my other friends there!

I was just amazed at how Fontbonne welcomed Justin so warmly into her embrace that I swelled with pride when he said, “I can see why you love this place so much… they go out of their way to love you.”

Indeed. My time at Fontbonne has been incredibly bright, and I am thankful to my family here for making Justin know that he’s an honorary Griffin!


Last Wednesday, we had a big annual event on campus called “International Bazaar” which is like a cultural carnival. We had so many different foods, dress, and toys from different countries, such as Taiwan, Japan, Peru, Saudi Arabic, Mexico, and Iraq.

In this event, all the international students had their own country’s table to show the culture, food, holiday, dress, and other thing from their country. My friends and I took care of our Taiwanese table. We put Taiwan’s flag, map, and also made a slide show to present Taiwan to visitors. Also, we put some Taiwanese snakes and traditional tea on our table. Also, I wore a traditional dress to let every one know our dress culture.

My friends and I also tried many traditional foods from different countries, such as Thai-food, Mexican food, Indian food, Vietnamese food, and Japanese food. Also, we saw some cultural dancing, like Peruvian and African dancing, which impressed me.

I really like this event because not only did I try many different yummy cultural foods, but also I’ve learned more knowledge about other countries from international students. Even though all the cultural food, dancing, and dress are different from mine, I respect their cultures a lot, because they’re worthy to respect. It was a such meaningful international event I attended at Fontbonne.


Hello everyone,

My name is Penny, I’m an international student at Fontbonne. I’m glad I got a chance to be a blog writer for Fontbonne, and I feel so honored to post my first article to introduce myself here.

I’m studying to earn a graduate degree in Multidisciplinary Health Communication. This is my first semester being a graduate student and also my first time studying in St. Louis. Everything is so new and interesting to me!

I came from Taiwan, and I arrived St.Louis this year. I decided to go to the USA to earn my graduate degree because Fontbonne has a great program and nice location, which is suitable to me.

Even though it’ s a big challenge for me to do everything only in English, I still enjoy studying with my classmates at Fontbonne, because all my friends and professors are very supportive. I’m looking forward to exploring the USA more, and my dream is just like the slogan of Fontbonne: “LEARN MORE, BE MORE.”

Penny 🙂


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.