Academic Major: Computer Science & Mathematics
Academic STATUS: Undergraduate
Graduation Year: 2011
Hometown: Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
The most memorable experience for me so far would be the meeting in the Computer Science Department last spring when I was awarded the Computer Science Departmental Award. It is given to the most promising sophomore student. I don't think there is fixed criteria for it, but I believe that the following are considered:
The size of most of the Computer Science classes is relatively small – 8 to 10 people. The size of most of the Math classes is about 20 to 40 people. In my opinion, the smaller the class is, the better, because it gives students the opportunity to get to know the professor and ask more questions relating both to the course material and future career goals in Math/CS.
I like the classes at Brockport. The professors are very helpful and friendly. Most of the time, they are available for help even when they don’t have office hours scheduled for that particular day.
My favorite class so far has been Calculus II (MTH 202), which I took with Dr. Sanford Miller. He lectured really well and made sure that everybody understood the material. He also gave us some challenging problems in addition to the regular ones in order to make us work hard and get a better experience. He is a great professor and advisor.
Professors are much more helpful and friendly.
I participate in the International Student Organization (ISO).
I am also a student member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a student/professional organization for people in the Computer Science. ACM sponsors many programming contests worldwide each year. In addition, it holds many conferences each year. It also provides access to thousands of books and online courses for its members. However, the most important thing about ACM is that it awards the Turing Award, which is considered the Nobel Prize in Computer Science.
During the school year I live on-campus, since I have the room and board scholarship. During the past couple of summers though, I lived off-campus.
I prefer living on-campus because I am much closer to everything I need (dining hall, class rooms, gym, etc.). In addition, when living on-campus, I get the opportunity to meet with many more people.
Brockport is pretty quiet and peaceful. Therefore, if people like this kind of environment, they will be happy while staying here. However, if the perspective students prefer large city environments, I would suggest that they apply to some other college.
I researched the student life and activities at U.S. universities/colleges. However, since the U.S. culture is somewhat close to mine, I didn’t have much trouble adjusting to the new environment.
The biggest challenge for me was the first month here in the U.S. I wasn’t used to talking in English 100 percent of the time. In addition, since I was taking some science courses with labs, I was very stressed out.
I miss my family, some holiday celebrations and the overall European environment.
Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Day are all holidays that are both celebrated in the U.S. and in Europe. However, I prefer the European style celebration – maybe just because I am European. Other holidays, such as the National Independence Day, Constitution Day and the European Day (May 9th), are obviously not celebrated in the U.S., since they are tight to my home land.
To all of the perspective international students, I would say:
After graduation, I plan to start working as a developer for some company and go for my Master’s of Computer Science at the same time.
Since I am a Computer Science major looking forward to starting a career in software development, it will be much better for my professional development if I could stay in the U.S., Silicon Valley in particular. However, whether I will be able to do that or not depends on many things, one of which is the visa status.
Bulgaria is part of the European Union, which gives me some more freedom in choosing where I can go and work. If I cannot stay in the U.S., I will go to the United Kingdom since I have family members there.