Tag Archives: Accounting

Kelly Wu: OISS Student and Staff Highlight

Name: I-Shen (Kelly) Wu

Country: Taiwan

Major(s): International Business and Accountancy

Language(s): Taiwanese, Mandarin-Chinese, English

“Perfect weather, city with a rich and diverse culture, strong business program, and the Coronado Bridge. These are the things that initially attracted me to the University of San Diego before I decided to become a student here at USD.

As a high school graduate from an American high school in Sacramento, fortunately, the transitioning to college as a foreign student was a lot easier for me then a lot of other fellow F-1 international students. However, I wasn’t very active and engaged with the USD community during my freshman year because I was lucky enough to find a close group of good friends in the first couple weeks of school. I spent my first year focusing on my academics, while observe the culture of USD and explore the opportunities and resources that are available on campus.

15245973296_89d2d0c767_zStarting with my sophomore year, I was ready to be more engaged and to try new things. I was a member of the International Orientation Team for three semesters, which welcomes students and scholars from all over the world. From physically helping them to move into their dormitories, to sharing tips and advice of attending University of San Diego as an international student, I was able to really bond with these students and share the excitement and anticipation for their new life here in the United States. I was in the Link mentoring program as a peer mentor that advice and guide minority freshmen students. I also took part in a Business Mediation Competition in Georgia, which gave me the opportunity to train in mediation, negotiation, and conflict management and put it to practice. Last but not least, I am a student worker at the Office of International Students and Scholars, which sharpens my organization and communication skills.

The one piece of advice I would like to share with all incoming students is to take advantage of all the resources and opportunities offered here at USD, you will be surprised with how much you can learn outside of the classroom.

14069500294_938337dfec_zStarting with my favorite office on campus- the International Center. The office offers various informational workshops specially designed to help international students with post-graduation preparations, on topics such as International Résumé & Cover Letter and Working Visas & Employment. For planners like me, it is never too early to have that résumé ready in hand and understand the procedures after bachelor degree. The International Center also offers fun and cultural social events for students to enhance their experience here at USD. My favorite event has to be the annual international EXPO fashion show. This cultural fashion show features students and staffs dressed in traditional outfits and walk the runway with traditional music in the background. I was a model for Taiwanese outfits for two consecutive years representing my country. It was a lot of fun as I will never have a chance to be a model with my petit height otherwise.

Another great resource here at USD is the Career Services, I didn’t get to know about them until my junior year, and I wish I could have start utilizing their help earlier. They are very helpful with resume reviewing, career advising, and even mock interviews. For many international students, there is always the stress of the need to find a job or internship upon graduation in a limited time period in order to stay in the United Sates and continue to live the American dream. By starting early and gain some working experiences as an undergrad student can make your job search after graduation so much easier.

In terms of academics, it can be tough in the beginning for those who are not familiar with the education system in the United States. One of the areas I struggled the most in the beginning of my study were academic writing. When it comes to essay writing, there are many required formats and techniques that are different from my home country. It took me a while to be able to understand what the professors want. In the U.S., they like to see critical thinking in your paper, and clear citations to all references is important to avoid plagiarism. Luckily, there is a Writing Center on campus that assists me with grammar, and help developing and refining ideas for papers of any class/topic. I find it really helpful for all students who do not speak English as their first language, to make sure that the ideas you are trying to convey is well presented in you’re writing.

Now I’m in my second semester of my junior year, what attracts me about the University of San Diego is the engagement and enthusiasm of the professors, the resources and opportunity available to students, the diverse yet inclusive community and the encouraging atmosphere for growth and self-discovery. Finally… the beautiful campus and unbeatable weather.”

-I-Shen (Kelly) Wu


Kelly has also studied abroad in Hong Kong during Intersession 2015. More regarding her experience from the US, Hong Kong, and back can be found here.

Tips from Abdullah: Transitioning from Kuwait to a Master’s in Accounting at USD

Name: Abdullah Al-Owisi

Country: Kuwait

Major (s): I finished my undergraduate years with a finance major and an accounting minor. I am now finishing up my Master’s of Science in Accountancy (MACC)

Languages spoken: Arabic and English


I picked the University of San Diego firstly because it was on the list of approved schools I could attend under the scholarship from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Higher Education. The list of schools I could choose from was rather broad but choosing a school in the beautiful city of San Diego, which I had heard a lot about was easy. I had never been the United States prior to my college career but I had a friend who started college in San Diego before me. So I consulted him about San Diego in general and the University of San Diego in particular, he told me I shouldn’t think twice about coming here, and the rest is history.

In terms of transitioning from Kuwait to the United States, I thankfully did not face as much of a culture shock as I initially anticipated. Academically speaking, I had attended an American school my whole life back in Kuwait and so the academic setting required almost no adjustment whatsoever. Culturally speaking, it was the college culture that was relatively new to me. I think this is the same regardless of where you go to school, the transition from high school to university always requires some form of adjustment. For me personally the biggest difference was living alone for the first time in my life, away from my family, my friends, and my country. I was truly independent for the first time in my life, and I flourished with this newfound independence.

I had always had plans to pursue higher education and not stop at a bachelor’s degree. So after completing my four years of undergraduate studies, I stumbled upon the MACC program at USD. Due to my solid academic performance in my four undergrad years, I had qualified for a scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree. At the same time the job market back home in Kuwait was flooded with recent graduates, especially with business majors like myself. I needed to go one step further to distinguish myself from the other recent graduates and stand out from the pack. I can’t say I had had enough of San Diego at the end of my four-year adventure, but on the contrary. I was eager to stay. And so I applied for the MACC program at USD, and I got in. Being a numbers guy, I liked finance and accounting, and I did very well in those classes, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to pursue the Masters of Science in Accountancy at my same school, USD.

The MACC program is only one year long so before I knew it I was staring at my last remaining months here in the United States. At this stage of my life, I had spent five years in undergraduate and graduate studies and was ready to enter the job market to apply all that I had learned. I welcomed the prospect of working in San Diego but acknowledged the potential difficulty regarding my international visa status. So I applied for the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT) and I am expecting to receive my card any day now. At this moment I am still engaged in the job search and I have accepted the obstacle set forth by my international student status. However, this does not discourage me any less to keep trying to find a job here and hopefully get the opportunity to prove myself in the American job market. If I feel I have a better opportunity to progress in my working career back home, then I am not hesitant to go with that. I had the disadvantage of starting my job search a little late as a piece of advice I would give to international students is to try and establish networking connections with employers early on in your academic career. I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I thank the University of San Diego for being my home for the last five years.

I wish all the USD students the best of luck in their current academic careers and future employment. Go Toreros!

-Abdullah Al-Owisi

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