department menu

International Student & Alumni Spotlight

Attention Current International Students and Alumni:

If you want to be part of the Global Education Student Spotlight, please follow the instructions:

  1. Send us a fun picture of you with the the following:
    • Your name, where you are from and your major
    • What are your favorite things to do during your free time
    • What you plan to do after graduation
    • What you miss from CSUSM and any other words of encoragement
  2. Please email this information to Ayari Valenzuela Macias ( 

 Current International Students and Alumni 

Anh- SpotlightI have started to work as a Vietnamese Publisher...

"I just realized dealing with deadlines at work is way harder than dealing with assignments in university. However, I had a chance to learn and met so many talented people at the company.

Another thing that surprised me the most is I still remember and apply all the knowledge I gained while studying at CSUSM into my current career. That not only helps me to be able to be more creative but also assists me in building and maintaining relationships with other colleagues.

I was so focused on my work, and my brother even made a joke about me being a workaholic. Therefore, I am trying to slow down and let myself enjoy the moments after graduation."- Anh Trinh


Hao- SpotlightI'm currently employed at Mikazuki Pictures...

Hao has applied to multiple master programs in Australia and plans to obtain a PhD degree in Digital Communication in the future.

 Currently, Hao is employed at Mikazuki Pictures and is in charge of handling the media design & videos of the company. During his free time, he enjoys playing yugioh. "I also got the agency qualifications from Yugioh China", explains Hao. He owns a card shop and also designs Playmats & Deck Boxes.

 He is also a fan of making Gundam Models. He participated in an Anime Expo in China as a Gundam Model owner (picture).

 "I am really really appreciate that CSUSM gave me such a great leading of abilities that I can handle things easily!"- Hao Chen


Sonya- SpotlightMeet Sonya from Vancouver, Canada...

Sonya earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from our university in Spring 2019.

 After her graduation from CSUSM, Sonya was accepted at the University of San Diego. She will be working towards completing a Masters Degree in Legal Studies.

 Currently, Sonya enjoys "getting outdoors and enjoying a break before I begin the next academic chapter", she said.

 Sonya does NOT miss the STAIRS, but she does miss seeing class friends she interacted with on a weekly basis.


Global Connections Student Organization 

Global Connections is a student organization that offers opportunities for International Students and U.S. Students to learn different cultures through interactions with each other. GC supports international students as they come to the university. GC also helps to support the globalization efforts of CSUSM. For more information on how to join, please email Jordan Silva, President ( and/or Danielle McMartin, Advisor (

jordan- spotlightMeet Jordan from Mozambique...

 "My name is Jordan Silva and I am from Mozambique! My major is Business.

 I enjoy watching football (or soccer in the US!) and my favourite team is Manchester United. I have done a lot of reading during the lockdown and I am an avid watcher of documentaries. Being able to spend time with my family is also a big plus especially hanging out with my brother!

 After I graduate, I would like to travel. There are still many places around the world that I yearn to go to including Asia and South America. However, whilst I am at CSUSM, I want to travel domestically and explore more of California and the United States.

 I miss social interactions greatly! Going to meetings and classes and being able to talk to people in person is something that I seriously miss, especially hanging out with friends.

 I think that one of the most beneficial things we could do right now is to make the most out of this time. It is easy to write off 2020 as a wasted year, but in fact 2020 could be the year where we grow the most. During this time, I have found it upon myself to self-reflect and grow as a person. I would like to be able to look back at 2020 with fondness and pride." - Jordan Silva

Maryann Spotlight


Meet Maryann from Iraq...

"My name is Maryann. I am from Iraq and my major is Biochemistry.

 This summer I am trying to keep myself busy by taking summer classes, and I also have tried some new activities (In this photo I am driving a boat in Coronado, San Diego).

 I really miss seeing classmates, friends, and professors and interacting with them in person at CSUSM.

 In addition, I miss eating at Panda Express with my best friend and attending the International Coffee Hour. Looking forward to seeing everyone in the near future at our university."-Maryann Aldawaf


Fanny Spotlight

 Meet Fanny from Sweden...

"My name is Fanny Liljekvist and I’m an international student from Sweden who’s currently majoring in psychology here at CSUSM.

Some things that I have been doing during these crazy times to keep myself entertained has been everything from taking long walks while listening to all sorts of podcasts, to experimenting in the kitchen - which surprisingly has become my new hobby.

 As much as I’ve enjoyed spending this much time with my family back home in Sweden, I’ve also had a lot of time to reflect on how much I appreciate my wonderful friends and our beautiful campus on the other side of the world.

However, I try to stay optimistic about the future and I hope to come back to California as soon as it’s safe. Take care and stay healthy everyone."-Fanny Liljekvist

Mankiran Kaur

Meet  Mankiran from India...

"I am Mankiran Kaur from India here at CSUSM. My major is Pre- Business.

 Things I am doing this summer and quarantine is: I am visiting my family back home and I am enjoying spending time with them.

 I love to play badminton and going for walks around beaches. I also love to take pictures especially sunset photos.

 Things I miss are walking alongside beach and  drinking boba. 

  Hoping to meet you all soon on campus."- Mankiran KaChihiro




 Meet Chihiro from Japan...

"My name is Chihiro and I am from Kanagawa, Japan. I’m a computer science major.

 This summer, I’ve been binge watching my favorite shows during the quarantine and going on adventurous motorcycle rides to get away from the city with my fiancé.

 What I miss most from CSUSM would have to be socializing with others. 

 My words of encouragement would be too: Stay safe, wear a mask, and be kind to others."- Chihiro Nishijima



Meet Marcella from Brazil...

"My name is Marcella Pimentel and I am from Brazil. I am starting my senior year this fall. I am majoring in Business Finance because I have a passion for numbers.

Growing up, I was a part of the Brazilian National team of synchronized swimming. However, in my free time I love to go swimming and spend time with family and friends. I have been living in San Marcos for 5 years and have enjoyed the international experience. It has taught me how to balance education and family time. I am still very close with my Brazilian family. They mean the most to me.

This summer I kept myself very busy by learning French. I spent a lot of time going to the beach and relaxing. However, I missed hanging out with my friends and having social interactions with people. I look forward to being able to hang out with my friends in person and hopefully have in person classes at CSUSM Spring 2021.

After I graduate, I want to work for a multinational company because I want to have the opportunity to keep learning about different cultures, travel, and meet people all over the world. This career aligns with my values and will provide me a great opportunity to do so." -Marcella Pimentel




 Meet Ryan from Temecula, CA...

"My name is Ryan and my major is Anthropology-Archaeology.

 I’m from Temecula CA and I’ve just been trying to find some work over the summer."- Ryan Eble