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A Division of the International Studies Office

Meet the Global Greeters


Have questions about life at UVA or in Charlottesville? Email the Global Greeters executive team or member with any questions.

Check back for events and resources for new international students from the Global Greeters


Hi y'all, welcome to UVA! My name is Adrian Mamaril, and I am a rising third-year from Manila, Philippines, majoring in foreign affairs and commerce with a minor in data analytics. Besides academics, I'm involved in UVA Student Council, Net Impact at UVA, and the Organization of Young Filipino Americans. I love playing tennis, the saxophone, binging the typical comedy show, going on road trips anywhere, and traveling all around the world! I am so excited to introduce you to a wide variety of new opportunities and to make your adjustment here in Charlottesville smoother. Please contact me if you need anything :) (
Wahoowa! My name is Kehui Chen (AKA Ellie), and I am a rising third-year international student from Shanghai, China; I am currently pursuing a degree in Commerce at McIntire. I have lived in the International Residential college in my first year, and Shea House-Japanese floor in my second year, and I plan to study abroad in my third or fourth years. Besides Global Greeters, I have also been involved in the Chinese Yearbook Committee, Virginia Case Club, Figure Skating Club, Hackcville, Citizen... I love arts and design (recently sketching buildings at UVA!), languages, and I am learning ukulele. I have plenty of international experiences including trips and camps in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Germany, and Canada, so feel free to have a chat with me if you have any worries about transitioning to a multicultural environment, have any questions about UVA, or just want to chat! (
Hey everyone! My name is Maria Paula Guzman. I'm a rising third-year student from Bogota, Colombia. I’m majoring in Commerce at McIntire minoring in dance. When I was young I got to travel a lot and I love learning about new cultures. The last country I visited was Tunisian spring break 2020! It was the adventure of the lifetime. Outside of classes I'm involved in Rhapsody Ballet, International Justice Mission, Yahweh Ministries, and the amazing fellowship Chi Alpha where I found Real community and it made adjusting to college easier. I know immersing in a new culture might be difficult so don’t hesitate to reach out! I am excited to meet you all! (
Hey everyone! My name is Victoria Gaudenzi and I am an international student from Brazil. I am a rising third-year in the College of Arts and Sciences and I hope to double major in Foreign Affairs and Youth and Social Innovation. I lived my entire life in Brazil, so if you are somewhat lost when you get to UVA, don't worry, I get it! I am a member of the German Society, Brazilian Student Association, and the Madison House Migrant and Latin Aid Program. I am very passionate about social justice, learning languages, traveling, and despite being a terrible cook, I love trying new foods! I cannot wait to meet all of you, learning about your journey and hopefully making you feel more at home! Congratulations and welcome to the community Wahoos! If you have any questions or just want to talk, I am here for you! (


My name is Abril Gaona, I'm first year PhD student in Biology in the Neurobiology track. I'm from Mexico, but I have lived in Mexico City (the first 25 years of my life) Paris, Budapest, Stuttgart, and Charlottesville. I know how hard it can be to adapt to a new lifestyle, so don't hesitate to reach out if you have some question, comments or just want to talk a little. (
Hiiii! My name's Ashok Ashiya (he/him/his), and I am in the Darden Business School Class of 2022. I am from India and love the outdoors here in Cville, enjoying hiking, cycling, and rock climbing here. I am happy to help make your transition to Charlottesville easier with a friendly conversation, pleasant walk through downtown, or help figure out where's here. Also, I enjoy cooking Indian food, painting, and playing the guitar; as you can see, I am open to exploring multiple things. Feel free to reach out to me at (
Hi everyone. My name is Dane Williamson and I am a first year PhD student in Computer Science at UVA. I am an international student from Jamaica, but i have been here in Virginia since 2016. I am a huge football (soccer) fan and I have supported Arsenal F.C. since the age of 13. Apart from football i also enjoy basketball, boxing, running and weight-lifting,  so I'm here if you need a cross-fit, kickboxing or regular gym partner. I'm down for E-Sports as well (especially FIFA). Don't hesitate to reach out to me, I hope I can help you have a great experience at UVA. (

Hello. My name is Minah Kim (she/her/hers), and I am a third year graduate student studying Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Epigenetics in the Psychology department. Outside of research, I'm involved in diversity and inclusive initiatives in my department, and I enjoy meditating, working out, pen paling, and doing karaoke. Welcome to the UVA and Charlottesville community, and hit me up if you need hot sauce recommendations! (
My name is Stephanie Diane Tsakeu Mazan, a proud daughter of Cameroon, a country often called “Africa in Miniature.” I am a PhD Candidate and a French Instructor at UVA. I am also the leader of the Organization of UnderRepresented Students (OURS) of our university. I have been in the USA since 2015, I had the chance to live and attend schools in the West and East parts of the country, what gives an incredible experience about how the American "societies" work.  I love to be connected with other people and cultures, an attitude that helps to foster respect and understanding. I have a good sense of humor, but I can’t stand it seeing a human being been mistreated or discriminated. (


My name is Abla Samrhouni, and I am a rising third year from NOVA. I am majoring in Commerce and minoring in Public Policy. I love to travel, learn new languages, and explore different cultures. My family is from Morocco, so I visit there almost every summer. In my free time, I like to stay active by running, working out, and playing soccer. I am involved in Madison House, Global Student Council, and Enactus, among others. If you have any questions about anything, email me at!
Hey everybody! My name is Adi Raghavan. I'm a rising second-year that aims to major in Economics and Statistics, with a potential minor in Public Policy. I'm an international student from Mumbai, India, but I've lived in many different places. I love basketball, comedies and mellow music. In my free time, I love to write anything that comes to me- be it political writing or a mockumentary. I'm so excited to help you all adjust to being on-grounds and acclimatise to the wonderful environment at UVA! Feel free to contact me any time. (
Hello and welcome to UVA; we're so glad to have you join our community! My name is Advika Roongta, and by the time I meet you, I'll be a third-year in the College. I'm Indian and lived in Dubai, UAE for most of my life before Charlottesville. I primarily study Economics and Public Policy, but am also super interested in Psychology. Outside of class, I help plan UVA's collegiate MUN conference, the Virginia International Crisis Simulation, and am an intern with VISAS, an on-Grounds program that coordinates English language volunteering. In my free time, I love to read, spend time outdoors on our *beautiful* Grounds, and cook. I love connecting with new students, so please feel free to reach out with any questions, or even just to chat! (
Hello! My name is Aiya Perrine, and I am a fourth year double-majoring in Linguistics and Japanese. I speak English and Japanese, but I love studying languages (as you can probably tell from my majors!), and plan to soon begin learning Mandarin Chinese. I studied abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan for eight months during my second year at UVa, and once I graduate from UVa I will return to Japan to teach English. In my spare time, I enjoy going in adventures with my friends and family, cooking and eating, and making new memories in new places. Meeting new people from all over the world is my favorite aspect of studying abroad, so I can't wait to meet everyone and explore UVa together! (
Hello!! My name is Alexis Payne, I go by Alexis, although some people call me Lex for short. My pronouns are she/ her and I'm going to be a 3rd year at the start of the 2021 Fall Semester. I'm currently double majoring in Spanish & Psychology and hope to use these as a way to connect to more individuals in the world. I enjoy hang out with friends, being outside, listening to music, and ultimately anything that is a creative release. I look forward to being a global greeter and meeting some new friendly faces!! (
Hey all! My name is Aleyna Karaca, and I am a 4th year history major in the College of Arts and Sciences. I have lots and lots of experience moving, and I am ready to offer advice or answer any questions. I have lived in 5 countries, 5 states, and I have been to more than 20 countries. I enjoy reading, writing, and especially football! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! (
Hey guys! Welcome to UVA :) My name is Angie Rodriguez, and I am a rising third year (maybe) studying Anthropology, Psychology, and Biology. Although I am ethnically Filipino, I grew up here in America. I enjoy all things food related, whether it's eating, cooking, or watching Gordon Ramsey curse out people. In my free time, I'm either a home-body or an explorer, so depending on my mood, I'll be dead asleep in bed or out looking for a new place to visit! I am so excited to welcome you all here on grounds and get to know as many of you as I can! Please don't hesitate to reach out to me about anything, I'd love to chat :) (
Hi everyone! My name is Anna Wei and I’m a rising third year majoring in Architecture (Design Thinking concentration) and minoring in Entrepreneurship. I currently live in Fredericksburg, VA but I’ve also lived in China for five years. During my free time, I enjoy doing hands-on projects, watching movies and tv shows, and traveling with my family. If I’m not pulling an all-nighter at the Architecture school, you can find me at a boba store hanging with my friends. I’m excited to get to know you all better and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just to say hi! (
Hello my name is Briana Corrielus and i'm a rising 2nd year. I'm Haitian- American . I am pre med and I am thinking about studying medical anthropology or youth and social innovations. I like to read and knit and i am involved in several clubs on grounds including multi cultural orgs and pre med groups! I'd love to get you know guys. (
Hello everyone!! My name is Caleb Sica. I'm a rising 4th year commerce major concentrating in finance with tracks in real estate and global commerce. I'm American, and come from an Ethiopian and European background. I have lived in quite a few different places within the US, as well as in Barcelona, Spain before I transferred to UVA for my third year. I love football (the real football), anime, food, coffee. I'm excited to meet all of you and look forward to getting to know you! (
Hey!  My name is Clara Jackson and I’m a third year from a small town in Maryland (outside of DC).  I am majoring in Leadership and Public Policy (Batten) and I’m in the process of declaring minors in Global Sustainability and History.  I love reading (pretty much anything and everything), movies, baking, and discussing international/current events.  I also have two corgis and a very silly labrador puppy at home right now so if you want to see pictures of them, you need only ask! :)  I'm very excited to meet new people through Global Greeters! (
Hi everyone! My name is Chloe Miller and I'm a rising fourth year majoring in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies. On grounds, I am involved in the VISAS program and currently working towards earning my TESOL certificate. I was given the opportunity to study abroad as well as intern at a radio station in South Korea. This year I will be returning to Shea House in order to continue studying Korean. Outside of school, I love animals (especially cats), baking, and being active. I play tennis and was in taekwondo for 10 years. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Can't wait to meet you guys this year! (
Hey guys, welcome to UVA! My name is Christine Aye and I’m a rising third year and I will be majoring in Commerce at McIntire. I’m an international student from Myanmar and I went to high school in Singapore. At UVA, I’m involved in club badminton, Student Council and many more. I love traveling, and I’ll often be exploring a different state during fall and spring break! In my free time, I like discovering new music and finding new places to eat at. I’m very excited to see you all on-grounds and helping you transition into this amazing community. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! (
Hi everyone! My name is Halleigh Carson, and I am a rising third-year majoring in Sociology and Spanish. I am from Richmond, Virginia, but have studied abroad and traveled in the Czech Republic, Spain, and France. When I’m not studying in the library, I love creating art and spending time outdoors, doing anything from hiking to kayaking. I am also involved with the Washington Society, which is a debate group here on Grounds! If you have any questions about life at UVA, or just want someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out! (
Hello Hoos! Welcome to UVA! My name is Jessica Wei and I'm a second year in the College of Arts & Sciences. I'm currently a prospective Neuroscience major on the pre-med track. I've lived in Oregon, Missouri, and Virginia, but my family is from Wuhan, China (and I often visit)! I love art, classical music, baking, travelling, and a good cup of coffee. Feel free to reach out to me, and I cannot wait to meet you!! (
Hello everyone! My name is Jonathan Swap (he/him), and I am so excited to help you all on your journey at UVA. I am a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences and plan to major in Mathematics and Environmental Science (still deciding). I am Brazilian-American and identify as latinx. I speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese and plan to start learning Korean this upcoming year—always welcome any language help. I am from Charlottesville, so if you have any questions about the area feel free reach out to me. I love to play volleyball, create ceramic pieces, and bake desserts. I am/have been in multiple organizations on grounds such as: UVA Honor, Latinx Leadership Institute, Brazilian Student Association, and latinx peer mentoring program. Please don't hesitate to reach out for whatever reason! (
Hi guys! My name is Kurt Goerg and I'm an international student from Singapore. I'm also half German, but I've lived in Singapore for nearly my whole life, and in Switzerland for 3 years as well. I can speak some German and Mandarin, but I am still learning! I'm a rising third year studying Computer Science in the E-School. I love all kinds of sports, but mostly volleyball, soccer and table tennis. My social distancing hobby has been running, and I recently did a half marathon in Charlottesville! I believe that team sports are a great way to meet new people, so please reach out to me if you want to play some sports, or have any questions whatsoever! (
Hey everyone! My name is Lekha Mereddy, and I am a student from Hyderabad, India. I am a rising third-year, pursuing a major in Cognitive Science and a minor in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. I love getting to know new people and learning about different cultures and I also love learning new languages. Apart from the languages I speak from home, I did Spanish and French in high school and I'm learning German right now at UVA! UVA offers so many exciting opportunities beyond the classroom, and I was involved with UNICEF at UVA and the Women’s Leadership Development Program, my first year and am now working with Habitat for Humanity here. I also love food, and am always down to try something new! I am so excited to meet you all! (
Hi friends! My name is Mae Hovland, I use she/her pronouns and I'm an Urban Planning major! I'm originally from Minnesota and have lived for a bit in Japan. My main involvement on grounds is with the Queer Student Union. I also live at the International Residential College, and have been involved in the student government there. I've loved my time at UVA and all the wonderful people I've gotten to meet! I hope I can be the start of a great experience at UVA for you as well! (
Hey everyone! My name is Maryann Xue, and I'm a rising third-year majoring in Psychology and English. While I was born in the US, I went to an international school in Hong Kong for eight years before coming back to Virginia for my sophomore year of high school, and I also try to visit my grandparents in Shanghai every summer. I love traveling, exploring museums, and wandering around aimlessly in natural parks, but when I'm at home, you can find me watching movies and TV shows and struggling to play the guitar. On Grounds, I'm involved in The Cavalier Daily, VISAS, CSA, and Madison House. I'm excited to meet you all soon, and don't hesitate to reach out if you ever have any questions or just want to chat! (
Hi everyone! My name is Monica Iang, and I am a rising third year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I plan on double majoring in French and Economics, as well as minoring in Psychology. At UVA, I am involved with VISAS, Charlottesville Alliance for Refugees, She Writes History (for which I am treasurer), and Alpha Phi Omega (a service fraternity). I love traveling and exploring different cultures, which probably stems from living in three different countries in my childhood. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants, going exploring, and playing every type of sport there is! If you have any questions or just want to hang/grab food, do not hesitate to reach me at! (
Hi! My name is Narmeen Rasul and I am a fourth year majoring in French and Cognitive Science from Roanoke, VA! I did UVA's First Abroad program in London my first year and have always loved traveling. My family is from Pakistan so I visit there almost every summer. When I have a break from course work, I enjoy traveling, painting, reading, and discovering new restaurants and cafes! My goal is to travel to every country, though I am nowhere near reaching that yet! At UVA, I'm involved in the Society for Cognitive Science, University Allied for Essential Medicines at UVA, and Hoos Connected. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns or just want a friend!) (
Hello everyone & welcome to UVA! I’m Noor Sharif and I’m a rising third year majoring in Global Public Health and minoring in Sociology! I’m from Fredericksburg, VA although originally, I’m from Islamabad, Pakistan. I’m fluent in both English & Urdu, and trying to learn Spanish. I'm a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan and absolutely love going on drives ft. Drake & Jhené. I’m super passionate about studying medicine, public health & sociology and would love talking to you guys about your interests. It’s been a tough year and I want to be there to help, if you ever need it. I’m also a Peer Pre-Health Advisor so please come by and say hi even if you don't need any help. I'm always down for a friendly chat :) (
Hey everyone! My name is Olivia Binggeli and I’m a third year in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Biology on the pre-med track. I’m from the Charlottesville area and was born and raised a UVA fan (catch me at all the home sporting events!), and I was lucky enough to spend my first semester studying abroad as part of the UVA’s Global First program. I love traveling, going to concerts, and eating food - especially if it’s Bodo’s! I’m so excited to welcome you all to a place I’m proud to call home :) Please feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hi! (
Hi and welcome to UVA! My name is Sarah Fong and I'm a second year in the college of arts and sciences. I plan on double majoring in biochemistry and media studies and as of now, am currently on the pre-Health track. I was born in Washington D.C. and went to high school in NOVA, but my family comes from Vietnam and Hong Kong. In my free time, I enjoy baking, reading, watching films, and traveling. If you want to talk about any of those things, or life in general, please reach out! So excited to meet you all :) (
Hello friends! My name is Sarina Cooper and I am a rising third-year planning to study Global Environments and Sustainability and Spanish Linguistics and Philology. In my free time, I enjoy photography, longboarding, learning languages on duolingo and dancing around in my room to my many different Spotify playlists. At UVa, I am a member of Sustainability Advocates and Virginia Student Environmental Coalition. I am originally from Charlottesville, and I'd love to share my favorite restaurants and hiking spots with anyone interested! I am so excited to meet you all in the fall. (
Hi everyone! I'm Sayaka Mori and I'm a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences, hoping to major in Global Public Health & Biology. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan, but I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Frankfurt, Germany and Yorktown, Virginia. I moved around quite often, so I understand the struggles and excitement of starting a new journey in a new environment! On grounds, I'm involved in Student Council, UVA Doctors Without Borders and other pre-med organizations. You can usually find me zoning out in Clem library, but in my free time, I love exploring restaurants in Charlottesville and spending time outside! I am so excited to welcome you all to UVA. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just to say hi! (
Hi everyone and welcome to UVA!! My name is Shahira Ali and I’m a rising fourth year in the College majoring in Spanish and Cognitive Science with concentrations in Neuroscience and Linguistics. I was born and raised here in Virginia, but my family is originally from Bangalore, India. I’m actively involved in the Muslim Students Association, University Programs Council, Sigma Delta Pi, VISAS, and Housing and Residence Life. In my free time, I love playing tennis, basketball, and volleyball, and if I’m not on the courts, you can definitely catch me eating out and exploring new restaurants. I’m also a huge fan of Latin pop, reggaeton, and Punjabi music, and I love learning new languages. Please feel free to reach out to me about anything, and I’m looking forward to meeting you all! :) (
Hi everyone, welcome to UVA! My name is Sophia Renner, and I’m a rising fourth year from North Carolina. Pictured with me is my dog, Georgia, who I FaceTime daily! I am double majoring in psychology and Spanish, with the hope of attending graduate school for clinical psychology. Before deciding on psychology and Spanish, I explored countless majors at UVA, so I’d be happy to chat about finding the best one for you! I’m involved in Club Tennis and a neuroscience lab here on Grounds. In my free time, I love to practice yoga, try new recipes, and go on hikes! We are so excited you’re here, and feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hey! (
Hi! My name is Stuart Clark. I'm a second year interested in politics, international relations, and renewable energy. My hobbies include reading, writing, acting, and I really want to learn how to paint, sing, and play the piano. (
Hey guys! My name is Sydney Fisher and I'm a rising fourth year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I'm majoring in Cognitive Science and Chemistry. I have lived in Virginia for most of my life, but love to travel and experience new cultures! I really love the city of Charlottesville, especially for the food, so I can't wait to help show you guys around! When I'm not eating at a yummy restaurant or in the library (pretty sure Clem 2 is my real home), I am listening to music or cooking/baking! If you have any artist suggestions, unique recipes, or just want someone to talk to as you adjust to your new life on Grounds, feel free to reach out to me! Can't wait to meet you all! (
Hi everyone! My name is Tatev Gomtsyan and I am a rising third-year studying Global Public Health and planning to minor in Data Science. I am originally from Armenia, although I have lived in the United States for the majority of my life. A fun fact about me is that I played on the Armenian National Basketball team for two years while I studied abroad in Armenia! I have traveled a bit around Europe and love to learn about different cultures, traditions, and languages; my dream destination right now is Latin America! Outside of school, I enjoy going to the gym, playing Intramural basketball, exploring Cville, and trying new foods. At UVA, my primary involvement is HRL as a Resident Advisor. I also work part-time most afternoons at my favorite library on Grounds, Brown Library. I know the transition to college can be overwhelming, so please feel free to reach out to me at to ask questions or just say hi! :) 
Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Fountain and I'm a rising 4th year double majoring in Spanish and History. Around grounds, I'm involved with a couple of different organizations including VISAS, Sin Barreras, Forge, and Madison House. In my free time, I enjoy taking spin classes, listening to podcasts, and exploring Charlottesville with my friends. I'm so excited to meet y'all and feel free to reach out if you need anything- my email is
HELLO AND WELCOME TO UVA! My name is Toni Heo, a rising fourth year studying economics with a concentration in international economics. I live in Northern Virginia, but I was born and raised in South Korea. I love meeting people from all walks of life, learning foreign languages, and traveling around the world. I'm so excited to meet all of you! Please email if you ever want to grab bubble teas and chat about how amazing they are. ( )
Hello all! My name is Udhedheoghene Ojile but I go by Udhedhe! I’m a rising third-year from Lagos, Nigeria! I am currently double majoring in Global Studies and Economics. I love cooking, eating, trying new food so I’ll be happy to explore Charlottesville restaurants with you! Also in my free time, I like to do my make-up, practice graphic design, and binge-watch cooking shows. In UVA, I am involved with Forge, Madison House, and HoosConnected! I love meeting new people and making new experiences! I am so happy to welcome you to UVA! Please reach out to me if you have any questions or even just to say hi! (
Hello! I’m Veronica (Ziqi) Sun. I’m a rising 4th year in the College double majoring in Interdisciplinary Linguistics and Interdisciplinary German Studies and double minoring in Philosophy and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I love writing, making music, fashion, Latin dance, pattern design, and creative work in general! I spent my childhood and early education in China before being admitted to the SM1 scholarship program in Singapore at 15. I went to the University of Cambridge for winter exchange prior to UVa and I enjoyed the UVa J-Term program in Berlin and Weimar in my freshman year here! I love living on grounds, especially in Shea House with my fellow German pod friends! I cherish the opportunity to taste different culture and learn from friends worldwide. Can’t wait to meet yall and help yall make a smoother transition in UVa, no matter where you’re from! Welcome :) (
Vibha Maheshwari. International student. Loves all form of art- literature, music, painting, criticism because there are no limits of expression. Swimmer, track and field, gymnast, but loves to play any type of sport. Big nature person. Shell collector. Reduce, reuse recycle: Sustainability is my life mantra- because without it the future is in impeccable doom. Smells-the-fresh-scent-of-new-books type of book lover. Extreme sports enthusiast. Sunrise yoga. Budding Architect and design thinker. NaturalsIcecreamisthedream! Cross cultural childhood- living in an international hub (which is also foreign land) for almost my entire life. Very excited to learn from people from completely different cultures! Multilingualism supporter! Charity marathon runner. Reused Art Maker- Instagram @vibha.mah. Second Year in College, First year in Person. Much to learn and share and grow! Very, very excited to meet people on the same journey, that is UVa. (
Hello! I'm Zhihan Yang, also go by David. I'm a rising fourth year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I grew up in Beijing and came to Virginia for high school six years ago. I went to Davis, California for my first year of college before returning to Charlottesville. I'm a competitive cyclist currently riding for UVA Cycling in collegiate cycling races. Besides, I'm also a coffee lover. If  you ever wonder where to get the best coffee in town, come to me! As an international student, I know the excitement of starting a new journey in another country, and I'm thrilled to meet you at the beginning of your journey here at UVA! (