By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
Danni Luo is one of four Eastern New Mexico University students who will stand out as they “go green” during Eastern’s spring commencement service on Saturday at Greyhound Arena.
Chinese students who have been participating in Eastern’s 1-2-1 program — an educational exchange project under World American Cultural Exchange (WACE) — will be donned in bright green caps and gowns as they are honored on stage.
Approximately 355 students will receive either associate’s, bachelor or master’s degrees from Eastern next weekend.
As for 20-year-old Luo, though, she will not be officially completing her bachelor of science degree in communication, with emphasis in TV production, when she walks across the stage. Luo, who did her first year of studies at Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China, will have only completed her ENMU requirements for her major. As a participant in the 1-2-1 program, she still has one more year of studying left at her school in China. Once she finishes that final year, though, she will have a double degree because her bachelor’s will be recognized in both the United States and China.
“In the end, we will have two bachelor’s degrees, one in the U.S., and one in China. I think we are getting the best out of this because we have been able to compare and combine education in both countries,” Luo said.
Luo said she studied English since seventh grade before coming to Eastern on the 1-2-1 program in 2006 so she did not have any language barriers. Since English is not her mother tongue, though, she said it did require her to stop and think a little more at times.
Another challenge, she said, is “Being far from my parents and friends, but I stay in touch with them through the telephone and e-mail.”
She did make a 10-day trip to visit her parents a year ago.
Luo said she really doesn’t get homesick. “I never cry or get upset. I’m a quick adapter, and plus I know I will be going back home soon. Also, with the other Chinese students here, we have become like a family,” Luo said. “The International Student Club has also become like my family too.”
Luo is the current president of the International Student Club at ENMU. While at Eastern, she has really made her presence known, having worked for both KENW-TV as a camera operator on campus and for the campus newspaper, The Chase.