A Division of the International Studies Office

Meet the Global Greeters

Meet the Global Greeters

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

See the main Global Greeters page for events and resource guides for new international students.


Megnot Abebe
Hello!! Welcome to UVA! My name is Megnot Abebe and I'm a rising third-year from Addis Abeba, Ethiopia! I am double majoring in the Comm School and in Global Development Studies. Some of my hobbies are listening to different types of music, watching Marvel and DC shows, painting and reading. I also went to a French International School where I got to meet people from different parts of the world, so I love hearing about different cultures and learning what they do differently. UVA was a big transition but it was made easier because of the friends that I made and the resources that I found so don’t hesitate to reach out! ([email protected])
Ploi Sripoom
Hi! I'm Ploi Sripoom, and I'm a rising third-year planning to double major in Sociology and Youth & Social Innovation. I’m from Thailand, but I studied in the states (Potomac, MD) throughout middle school and 9th grade. Besides academics, I am heavily involved in Thai Student Organization. In my free time, I love listening to KPOP, playing and watching sports, meeting new people, and trying new food. I also love to go to all the events happening on grounds with my friends. I'm here to help with your transition to UVA whether it's through introducing you to the grounds, guiding you to resources, helping you find your community, or being your support system. I'm so excited to meet and get to know you -- please don't hesitate to reach out. ([email protected])
Zhao_Tianwei - Tianwei Zhao.
Hi everyone! My name is Tianwei Zhao and I am a rising fourth year studying Economics and Statistics. I am from China and went to Phoenix AZ for high school. I love cats, bubble tea, playing the piano, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures! At school I am involved in Chamber Ensemble, the International Student Affairs Agency in StudCo, and co-founded a club with my friends called the International Student Union (ISU). I am so excited to welcome you all to UVA! Feel free to email me if would like to get bubble tea together or just to say hi! ([email protected])
Chinmay Nair
Hello everyone, my name is Chinmay Nair, and I am a second year PhD student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Mumbai, India. This is my fifth year in the US and have acquired a lot of information for navigating this country. In addition to being an International Student Citizen Leader fellow, I am also involved with VISAS, and the International Center to help international students with their transition on to Grounds. I am always curious to know about different cultures and enjoy being outdoors whether it's for a hike, running, football (soccer) or just travelling. I absolutely love cooking and trying out different food around Charlottesville. So don't hesitate and just reach out if you ever want to talk/have coffee or have any questions. I hope I can help you have a great experience at UVA! ([email protected])


Momodou Salieu Sowe
I'm Momodou, an International Graduate Student in the Department of Chemistry at UVA. I'm from the Gambia, West Africa. I served as the Graduate International Student Representative in the UVA Student Council until May 2023. I'm currently a DEI Liaison in the Department of Chemistry Graduate Student Council. I'm passionate about student activism and meeting new people. ([email protected])
Aya Yehia
Hi everyone! My name is Aya Yehia and I'm a 4th year PhD student in Systems Engineering! I was born and raised in the US, but have also spent a decade in the UAE, a couple years in Vancouver, Canada and my family is originally from Egypt. I love to bake, weightlift, read, write, play video games, volunteer and try new foods/activities. Feel free to reach me for anything and everything :) ([email protected])
Carrington OBrion
My name is Carrington OBrion, and I am a PhD student studying American History. I am from Virginia, but I have been lucky enough to live and study all over the U.S. and abroad. As an undergraduate, I found my home away from home in England, and I returned for my master’s degree. Being an international student was one of the best experiences of my life, but it also came with challenges! Before coming to UVA, I also worked as an undergraduate Admissions Counselor for international students. I’m excited to introduce you to my home state, and to hear all about you! ([email protected])
John Shen
I'm John Shen and I have been in the U.S. since 2013 and would love to share some of my experiences with you. ([email protected])
Ritu Kunwar
Hey there, my name is Ritu and I come from Nepal, although I've spent a significant amount of time working in India. Through my experiences, I have had the pleasure of interacting with people from all around the world, helping them to communicate effectively in various languages, assisting with tasks, and providing valuable information. My passion lies in utilizing technology to bring people together and bridge cultural gaps. Joining the Global Greeters community has been a source of excitement for me as it presents an opportunity to share my extensive knowledge and expertise with travelers seeking to explore new destinations and connect with local communities. I look forward to providing a personalized and unforgettable experience that showcases the local culture, customs, and landmarks of the places I get to host visitors. ([email protected])


Brianna Hang
Hello! My name is Brianna and I’m a third-year majoring in Biology and minoring in Data Science. I’m so excited to see you all and show everyone what’s on Grounds! My hobbies are playing badminton with my friends and baking, especially cream puffs. I love watching K-dramas/movies, so reach out to me if you have any recommendations! I think my favorite classes that I took here were Traditional Chinese Literature and Data ethics because we got to discuss interesting topics about East Asian history and data privacy. I can’t wait to see everyone and I hope you all have a great time at UVA! ([email protected])
Chang Liu
Hi everyone! My name is Chang Liu, and I am a rising second-year planning to major in Commerce (if not get in then Econ and Philosophy) and minor in data science. I am from mainland China and live there for 18 years. I love arts, especially painting & drawing, watching animation, K-pop, cooking, learning different cultures, and meeting new people. I was completely freaked out when I first came to UVA, so I really want to help people not have this sucky feeling again. Feel free to email me ifyou need help in your college life or if you just want to hear what sucky things happened to me when I first came here. Hope you have a wonderful experience at UVA! ([email protected])
Estelle He
Hi! My name is Estelle He and I'm a rising second-year planning on double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Physics. At UVA, I'm involved in a few clubs and organizations like aNoether Physics Club, Madison House, Chi Alpha, and Grace Christian Fellowship. In my spare time, I love baking, reading, singing, and traveling. I also love staying active by going on walks, hiking, playing volleyball, flag football, spikeball, or trying something new. Feel free to reach out, I'm really excited to meet everyone and can’t wait to welcome you to UVA! ([email protected])
Gabriel Nelson
Hi all! My name is Gabriel Nelson, and I am a rising third year student majoring in Public Policy and Leadership in the Batten School, minoring in French, and doing the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program. Outside of classes, I’m involved in the Washington Society and VISAS. For fun, I like studying languages, ballroom dancing here at UVA, working out, and traveling. I’m so excited to welcome you to UVA and help you find your home here! I didn’t know a single person at UVA when I first got here, so I know what it’s like. Always feel free to email me if you have any questions or if you just want to hang out and make a new friend! ([email protected])
Joao Paulo Correia
Hi! My name is João but you can call me Johnny. I'm a rising second year majoring in cognitive science with a concentration in computer science. As an international student from Brazil, I'm involved in the Brazilian Student Association and volunteer as an English as a Second Language assistant. I'm also interested in drawing, playing guitar/piano, and thrifting. I look forward to meeting you guys and helping make your transition to UVA as smooth as possible! ([email protected])
Jonathan Swap
Hello!! My name is Jonathan Swap! I’m a Fourth year from Charlottesville studying environmental science and leadership. I’m involved in the Latinx, Echols, and leadership communities. Please reach out if you want to talk about acclimating to C’ville or getting involved in the UVA community.  ([email protected])
Katherine Tang
Hello everyone! My name is Kaiwen Tang, but I also go by Katherine. I am a rising second year undergrad student studying Biology and Psychology. In my leisure time, I like playing music. I play the piano, the flute, and the guitar. I also enjoy exercising, such as swimming, running, playing frisbee and tennis. There are so many good places to explore in Charlottesville. There are many cafes and local restaurants that are worth going to. Feel free to email or text me if you have any questions, and I can't wait to meet you all in fall! ([email protected])
Paloma Nzeyimana
Hi! My name is Paloma and I'm a rising third year majoring in Global Public Health with a minor in Biology, on the pre-med track. I was born in the U.S but my family is from Burundi. I’ve grown up in several different countries and I love meeting people from different cultures. I am part of an Afrobeats dance team here at UVA and I’m also involved with the VISAS program. I love listening to music in my free time, and I’m always down for new music recommendations or TV shows. I’m so excited to meet you all! Feel free to contact me! ([email protected])
Rafid Mirza
Hey everyone, welcome to UVA! My name is Rafid Mirza. I'm a rising fourth-year student majoring in Computer Science, with minors in Data Science and Technology Entrepreneurship. I’m Bengali, but I have also visited many different countries and love learning about new cultures. In fact, I just visited Morocco and Spain in Winter 2022, where I had a great time. In addition to traveling, I love playing video games, eating food, and playing and watching sports (soccer, tennis, basketball, etc.)! Outside of classes I'm involved in the Muslim Student Association and Bengali Student Organization. I would love to help you get accustomed to UVA and college life in America, and I’m excited to meet you all! Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any reason. ([email protected])
Sayaka Mori
Hi! My name is Sayaka and I'm a recent graduate of UVA (Class of 2023) and former executive team member of Global Greeters. This will be my 3rd summer as a global greeter and I'm excited to help out as I stay in Charlottesville for my gap year before medical school. I'm originally from Tokyo, Japan but grew up around the world including the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S., so I understand the challenges of moving to a new country and culture. During my time as a student, I studied Biology and Global Public Health while working at the UVA Hospital's Emergency Department and volunteering at the Charlottesville Free Clinic. I am very excited to welcome you all to UVA and I am happy to assist in any way! ([email protected])
Sharis Chung
Hey everyone! My name is Sharis Chung. I am a rising third-year student from Hong Kong. I’m majoring in Nursing. I grew up in Hong Kong and came to the United States for high school when I was 14 years old. I love traveling, learning new languages and cultures from different countries. I have traveled to 10+ countries so far. I am interested in learning Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. I have lived in Portland, Oregon and Boston, Massachusetts before I came to UVA. I am also a transfer student that came to UVA in Fall 2022. I totally understand the struggles as a transfer student in making friends and adapting to a new environment. I hope to be your helpful resource to show you around UVA. I am also involved in HKSA. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I can’t wait to meet you all! :) ([email protected])
Laura Skillin1
Helloooooo and welcome to UVA! My name is Laura and I'm super excited to meet you! I'm a rising 4th year double majoring in Global Studies and Spanish. I've moved around my whole life (shoutout any fellow TCKs) but graduated high school in Canada. In the summer I love to play sand volleyball and go swimming, and in the winter I love reading and cooking. On the weekends, you can find me at Starbucks on the Corner making lots and lots of coffee. Here at UVA I found most of my community through a fellowship called Chi Alpha, but am also involved with the University Judiciary Committee, VISAS, and Madison House. Entering a new culture comes with a lot of processing and figuring things out. If you'd be interested in any advice or even if you just want to talk, I'm here for you! ([email protected])
Xu_Wenxin_Summer Xu
Hiii everyone! My name is Xiyue Zhang, and I go by Coco.:) I am a rising third-year international student from Shanghai, China, intended to pursue the Biomedical Engineering major. I am a rising RA at the International Residential College, thrilled to engage in more organization of fun and meaningful cultural events in our tight-knit residential community. Beyond a busy academic schedule, I enjoy singing, as I am a current  member of the Virginia Women's Chorus; I also love dancing, working out, embracing nature in all forms, and traveling to meet new people and experience different cultures. If you ever need a sounding board to bounce off your concerns, someone to think out loud with you, a study break, or a work-out buddy, I am here for you! I am very excited to meet you all and explore with you all the wonderful experiences and opportunities about your journey at UVA and beyond! ([email protected])
Xu_Wenxin_Summer Xu
Hi! My name is Wenxin Xu. You can also call me Summer. I am from Nanjing, China. Now I am a second year PhD student at the Department of Chemistry. My research focus is computational chemistry which combines chemistry and programming. In the leisure time, I love enjoying good food. There are many restaurants in Charlottesville and my dream is to visit all of them before I graduate. I am also a big fan of watching sports games like soccer, figure skating, and e-sports! The good news is that sports games at UVA are free for students! I cannot wait to share all the happiness I've been through at UVA. Hope to see you soon in person! ([email protected])
WechatIMG18_xuxin Fan
My name is Fan. I am a second year student, planning to major in Pre-comm and Math and minor in Philosophy. I usually play soccer, cycling, watch movies and documentaries, and hang out with my friends on weekends. I’d love to make new friends and make meaningful connections with them:) ([email protected])
Roshan Vemuri
Hello, my name is Roshan Vemuri, and I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. I am 4th Year studying Global Sustainability and Economics. My hobbies include practicing music and engaging in service projects that help to better our environment. I am involved with Cville Solar Project on grounds, and work for a Bioplastic startup year-round. In addition, I've been involved with greek life since first year. Feel free to reach out with any questions, especially regarding global studies, CIOs, or greek life! ([email protected])
Zicheng He_He Susan
Hi!! My name is Zicheng He from China Shenzhen. I am a rising second-year planning to major in Computer Science. I am involved in other International Community Programs like VISAS, and I think they are great for any international students to join. I am passionate about visual arts, trying different cuisines and meeting new people from other countries! It was hard to get used to living in a brand new community at UVA, but this process was easier for me because of the wonderful people caring about international students. So I sincerely hope I can also help you during this process! Feel free to reach out to me through email, and welcome to the family! ([email protected])