Ariana is a sophomore studying Gerontology. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but is super excited to explore Los Angeles for the next few years. She enjoys drawing, swimming, and going to concerts. Ariana has been working with international students to improve their speaking, reading, and writing skills both online and in person for two years. As a second-generation immigrant, she understands the difficulty of adjusting to a new place and learning a new language, and knows how helpful it can be to have someone to talk to on a regular basis, whether it be for practicing language skills, professional development, and just for fun. She is curious and eager to meet you, and is looking forward to sharing cultures and stories with you!
Brianneth is a freshman majoring in Health and Human Sciences at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. She was part of the USC Summer Bridge Program, so she is familiar with the campus’ hidden gems. She was born and raised in the spectacular city of Los Angeles. She cannot imagine growing up anywhere else. She thinks the best thing about LA is the weather. During her free time, she enjoys taking road trips, watching movies, taking hikes, playing sports, along with other things. She is an honest and open-minded individual who looks forward to new adventures. She enjoys embracing all the wonderful aspects of her Mexican culture and is fluent in the Spanish language. She is glad to have met so many wonderful people at USC and is thrilled to help other students make their transitions enjoyable experiences.
Hailing from the Big Island of Hawaii, Derek is an undergraduate junior studying Computer Science. He has some background in Japanese and participated in a student exchange with Kumejima High School in Okinawa. As someone who experienced learning a second language through immersion, he hopes to help others get acclimated to student life at USC through conversation. In his free time, Derek likes to play tennis, travel, try new foods and search for new music. He is also the Artistic Director of the campus Taiko drumming group and participates in both Chinese American Student Association and Nikkei Student Union events. Feel free to reach out to Derek for anything from practicing presentations or interview skills to chatting about music or film or campus life.
Gina is a sophomore studying Communication at the USC School of Annenberg. She attended five schools but mostly grew up in Piedmont, California. Although she only attended a French bilingual school for two years, she has continued to pursue fluency in the language. She loves playing volleyball, watching movies, and thrift shopping. Never having left the country has fueled her love for learning about other cultures and meeting people from different backgrounds. She is excited to help anyone who needs it and to get to know them in the process!
Katie Stone is a sophomore studying Communication in the Annenberg School at USC. She is from a small town in New York just outside of New York City and has two younger siblings. She loves activities like hiking, swimming, and yoga, and is so excited to explore her new home that is Los Angeles! During the summer, Katie works as a sleep away camp counselor; she is a lifeguard and swim instructor for girls ranging in age from 7 to 15. At USC, Katie is involved in Greek Life, Marshall Entertainment Association, and USC Photography club. She is so excited to meet her fellow classmates and help them learn through the Conversation Partner Program!
Rachel is a sophomore studying Film and Television Production. In her free time, she enjoys public speaking, volunteering, and filmmaking, particularly documentary filmmaking. She was born and raised in Southern California, but enjoys traveling and has been all over North America and Europe. She spent her first semester of college in Paris and has been studying French for a number of years. She looks forward to getting to know students and is eager to help them with essays, presentations, conversation, or whatever they would like.
Richard is an undergraduate freshman majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Health Care Studies. Growing up in France and arriving to the United States in his early teen years, he understands very well the hardships of immersing yourself in a new culture with a new language and new customs. He interacted with multiple immigrant communities both in the US and in France and developed efficient methods of discovering new cultures comprehensively. In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano, working out, learning new languages, and reading books. He is eager to meet you and share his experiences!
Sarah is an undergraduate sophomore from the San Gabriel Valley studying GeoDesign. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring L.A., trying new foods, and of course, meeting new people. She can speak conversational Cantonese, and is currently learning Mandarin. Even though her Chinese is limited, that doesn’t stop her from striking up a conversation with other international students. She is always happy to learn about other cultures and can’t wait to meet you!
Shikah is an undergraduate senior majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Viterbi. Though she was born and raised primarily in Saudi Arabia, she has spent several years in France, Czech Republic and China. During summers as an undergraduate, she has worked in various countries around the world. Shikah is a board member of the Saudi Student Association, and an active member in USCs undergraduate student government, international student assembly, and expat society. She has started learning Spanish at USC, and enjoys learning and teaching languages. In her free time, Shikah is an essay tutor for international students. She also enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and exploring new restaurants around the city. Shikah will help you improve your language, social, and interviewing skills! Shikah is excited to get to know you and to grow together professionally!
Stella is a sophomore undergrad at USC studying Marketing and Communications Design in hopes of eventually starting a business or designing for a business. She has grown up in Cambridge, MA for her whole life until coming to LA for school. Her family moved to America just before starting a family so she has experienced a Chinese upbringing at home while living in American culture. She understands the cultural differences and how important it is to integrate but to also stay true to your roots. Stella loves movies, music, going to concerts, trying new things, and good conversations! She would love to help with any problems regarding relationships, life advice, and even simple questions about English. She is excited to meet you and help out in anyway she can!
Yoko is a 2nd year graduate student in USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts where she studied piano performance at New England Conservatory of Music. Born to Japanese immigrant parents, Yoko is very familiar with both the challenges and beauties of cultural diversity. She is also an expert collaborator and teacher from her experience teaching piano and performing in ensembles. She loves meeting people and looks forward to meeting her fellow USC Trojans!
Zoe is a second year undergraduate student studying Global Health through USC’s Keck School of Medicine on the UPC Campus. She is passionate about healthcare and helping others and wants to pursue a career in hospital administration. Zoe is also specializing in Applied Analytics through Viterbi’s Information Technology Program. Zoe is from San Diego, California so she loves swimming, surfing, and all things ocean-related. She grew up in a multiracial (half Thai, half French and Swedish) household so she has a soft spot for exploring the differences and similarities among cultures. Some of her hobbies and passions include all things food or cooking-related, being outdoors–she is an avid hiker, camper, and backpacker, all kinds of music, and giving service to the community through volunteering.