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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.

See upcoming welcoming events and resources from the Global Greeters


Hi everyone! Congratulations and welcome to UVa. My name is Felipe Buitrago and I'm a rising fourth year international student from Bogotá, Colombia; I'm currently pursuing a degree in Commerce at McIntire. Throughout my life I've had the opportunity to travel all over the world which has taught me a great deal of things, most importantly the value in diversity. Outside of McIntire, I can be found playing piano in the Old Cabell Study rooms or watching the Formula 1. Again, welcome to UVa! If there's anything I can do to help you more easily accomodate, please don't hesitate to contact me. (
Hi, friends! I'm so glad you'll be joining us this fall. My name is Grace Leffler, and I am a fourth year majoring in psychology and cognitive science. I spent my first semester as a part of UVA’s very first London First study abroad program. Back at UVA, I am involved with volunteering, the National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter at UVA, and my research lab! If you have any questions about UVA or simply want a friend, please email me at!
Hi there friends! My name is Grace Medrano and I'm a rising fourth year East Asian Studies and Linguistics major! I'm currently learning Mandarin Chinese and in the past I've traveled to Beijing and Harbin. While my family is originally from Honduras, I grew up here in Virginia. In my free time I enjoy language-learning, exploring used bookstores, cooking new dishes, and watercolor painting. I'm so excited to get to know your story and welcome you to Charlottesville! Feel free to reach out with any questions about UVA or just to say hello :-) (


Hi everyone! My name is Adam Khdach, a second-year master's in Urban and Environmental Planning and a Fulbright scholar at the University of Virginia.
I am originally from Morocco, and I have lived in different countries, including Spain and England (I am happy to share travel tips). Also, I like learning new languages, going to concerts, and enjoying outdoor activities. 
I would love to get to meet you all and share stories and experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about UVA or Charlottesville in general. My email is

Hello- سلام-  Salut! My name is Sana Abdi. I'm a PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant at the French Department. I enjoy reading poetry and fiction, playing video games and painting. Whatever your taste, I've got a restaurant recommendation for you in Charlottesville. I'm excited to meet you all this summer and welcome you to UVA! (
My name is Stephanie Tsakeu and I was born in Yaoundé-Cameroon, a country dubbed ”Africa in miniature.“ I'm a PhD candidate and French Teaching Assistant at the University of Virginia. My field of studies is Francophone post-colonial cultures. Putting a smile on every face is my motto in life. (


Hello! My name is Abena Sekum Appiah-Ofori. I’m originally from Ghana but currently reside in Orange County, Virignia. I’m rising second-year planning on double majoring in Religious Studies and Computer Science. Fun fact: I spent a majority of this school year volunteering for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Presidential Campaign in hopes of helping elect someone who is a champion for working-class people, racial justice, and issues facing women. From my university in Virginia, I traveled through many towns in Iowa and South Carolina to door knock and canvass. I also spent many weeks canvassing in my home state of Virginia. In order to successfully do this, I learned the platform and policies of the Sanders’ campaign to deliver messages persuasively. This process contributed to me being a highly dedicated and passionate changemaker. (
My name is Abla Samrhouni, and I am a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences from NOVA. I love to travel, learn new languages, and explore different cultures. My family is from Morocco, so I visit there almost every summer. I hope to major in Foreign Affairs and minor in French. In my free time, I like to stay active by running, working out, and playing soccer. I am also a Madison House volunteer and member of the Global Student Council. If you have any questions about anything, email me at!
Hey everyone! My name is Adrian Mamaril, and I am a rising second-year from Manila, Philippines, majoring in foreign affairs and prospectively commerce. You can catch me in the library or eating Pronto at the corner! Besides academics, I'm involved in the Jefferson Society, the Organization of Young Filipino Americans, and the International Relations Organization, among others. I love playing tennis, the saxophone, binging the typical comedy show, eating most kinds of food (especially any Asian cuisine), and traveling all around the world! Although being American, I truly am an international student who went to an international school, so I will do my best to help you all adjust, meet other Hoos, and try to make UVA your new home! (
Hi everyone! Welcome to UVA; we're so glad to have you join this community! My name is Advika Roongta, and by the time I meet you, I'll be a second-year in the College. I'm Indian, but I lived in Dubai for most of my life before Charlottesville! Academically, I'm interested in Economics, Public Policy, Global Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship; if you couldn't already tell, I'm still figuring things out! I'm also involved in the International Relations Organization (IRO), and with Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED). And I live at the International Residential College! In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors on UVA's *beautiful* Grounds, and cooking. I can't wait to meet you all - please feel free to reach out with any questions/concerns, or even just to chat! (
Hi everyone, my name is Anna Gan and I am a third year majoring in Biology and Linguistics on a pre-med track! I love traveling, nature, exploring new restaurants, and dogs! In my free time, I like to listen to music, read, watch movies, and conduct research at the UVA hospital! I can't wait to meet and get to know everyone! (
Hello, incoming students! My name is Anusha Choudhary and I'm a second-year undergraduate student studying Computer Science. I was born in Fremont, California and grew up in New Delhi, India, but I've spent the largest chunk of my life in Hyderabad, a beautiful city in Southern India. At UVa, I've loved being involved with the International Residential College, the Asian Pacific American Leadership Training Institute (APALTI), and being a photographer for the McIntire Department of Music! I'm really passionate about all kinds of art, especially theatre, poetry, photography, and even stand-up comedy! Recently, my favorite hobby has been learning new languages on Duolingo: so far I've completed about a semester's worth of German and Korean on the app. Talk to me about anything artistic, linguistic, or CS-related! (
Hey everyone! My name is Camiellalouisa Sehidou but I go by Cammy. I am a rising fourth year Biology major and Spanish minor, I am also pre-med. I currently live in Maryland, but was born in Cameroon where I spent the first 8 years of my life. I love learning about different cultures and languages. In my free time I watch a lot of Kdramas, Korean variety shows, Bollywood movies and telenovelas. I one day hope to travel the world, even though so far I have only been to India and Cameroon. Feel free to contact me anytime, I would love to watch a movie or just hang out and talk. Welcome to UVA!! (
Hey guys, welcome to UVA! My name is Christine Aye and I’m a rising second year in the College hoping to major in Commerce. I’m an international student from Myanmar and I went to high school in Singapore. At UVA, I’m involved in club badminton, Smart Women Securities (SWS) 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! (
Hello and welcome to UVA!  My name is Clara Jackson and I’m a rising third year from a small town in Maryland (outside of DC).  I recently declared my major in Public Policy and Leadership (Batten) and I’m still figuring out what else I may want to study and/or minor in.  I love reading (pretty much anything and everything), movies, baking (currently attempting sourdough bread), 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! At UVA, I’m involved in Green Grounds (an environmental club) and the International Residential College (IRC) so if you would like more information on either, I’d be happy to talk to you about them!  I’m so excited to have you all joining our amazing community at UVA! (
Hello!  My name is Gabrielle Mashkouri, but I go by Gabby.  I am a rising second-year in the College of Arts and Sciences interested in Foreign Affairs.  I was fortunate enough to spend my first semester studying abroad as a part of UVA's Global First program.  Outside of classes, I am a part of VISAS and spend time with my fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, that helped me with transitioning back on-Grounds.  I love listening to music and running around Charlottesville, especially since the weather is absolutely perfect.  If you ever want to chat or have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out! (
Hi, and welcome to UVA! I'm Irene Cox, and I'm a rising third-year majoring in economics and minoring in politics. Outside of classes, I am involved in VISAS, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and figuring out what to cook for dinner! In my free time, I enjoy reading history books and running (but not at the same time). I am so happy you chose UVA, and I can't wait to meet you! (
Wahoooowa! I'm Kehui Chen (AKA Ellen)  from Shanghai, and I am a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences as a prospective Economics major. I also especially enjoy arts and design, language learning(learning Japanese&French now!), having interesting discussions, and I love trying out all kinds of academic and social opportunities! I have lived in the International Residential College for one year, and I am going to Shea House the coming year to learn Japanese. On Grounds, I have involved in the skating club, the Chinese Yearbook Committee, and Hackcville. Outside of class, I have engaged in 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, or if you have any questions about UVA! (
Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Smits, and I’m a rising third year from Falls Church, Virginia in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing an economics major and Spanish minor. Outside of classes, I’m involved in VISAS and the Cavalier Daily. I spent my first semester in London through UVa’s Global First program, and along the same lines, absolutely love travel and learning foreign languages. I look forward to welcoming all of you to grounds and into the Hoo community! (
Hey everyone! My name is Maria Paula Guzman. I'm a rising second year student from Bogota, Colombia. Right now I'm Pre-comm and I’m considering 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 Tunisia this past spring break! It was the adventure of the lifetime. Outside of classes I'm involved in University Dance club (UDC) and Rhapsody Ballet, Smart Women Securities (SWS), and the amazing fellowship Chi Alpha where I found Real community and it made adjusting to college smoother. I know immersing into a new culture might be difficult so don’t hesitate to reach out! (
Hello Hoos! My name is Noor Sharif and I'm a rising second year in the College of Arts & Sciences. I'm on the pre-med track and planning on majoring in Global Public Health (hopefully). I live in Fredericksburg, VA but originally I'm from Pakistan and I moved here almost 6 years ago so I understand a lot of the struggles that come with moving to a new environment.  I'm a huge Grey’s Anatomy and Friends fanatic, and just watching TV shows in general so come tell me about your favorites shows and movies :) I also really enjoy painting, although I'm not very good, and it's one of my favorite ways to de-stress. I'm always down to chat about whatever so feel free to reach out. I can't wait to show you guys around UVA and help you settle into this amazing community! (
Hey everyone! My name is Olivia Binggeli and I’m a second year in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Biology on a 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! (
Hola! My name is Parth Kasat and I am a rising third year majoring in Computer Science through the CLAS. I am an international student from India and I make some mean samosas. Some interesting things about me; adventure sports are my forte, it doesn't matter if its 3 am or 3 pm, I am always down for doing something crazy. I have skydived, scuba dived, para sailed, a whole lot more which I barely remember. Experiencing local cuisine exploring hooville's food options is what you can find me doing in between classes. I also like to go trekking and reading books so don't hesitate to ask me for recommendations! That's a small bio of me and I hope to see you guys on grounds! Wahoowaaaa. (
Hello y’all! Welcome to UVA!!! My name is Quang Nguyen, and I’m a rising fourth-year majoring in Biology and minoring in Entrepreneurship. I’m a huge fan of traveling. I have been traveling to 11 countries and am planning to make many more trips in the future. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music and watching Netflix (my favorite shows are Baby Daddy and Santa Clarita Diet). Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m looking forward to seeing y’all on Grounds soon! Go Hoos! (
Hi everyone, and welcome to UVA! My name is Rebecca Zhou, and I am a rising fourth year double majoring in Computer Science and Economics. I am heavily involved with VISAS (Volunteering with International Students, Staff, and Scholars), where I get the chance to meet and talk to international students and staff at UVA. While I was born in the US, I go to China every summer to visit my family in Chengdu (as a result, I love eating spicy food!). I speak English and Chinese, have studied Spanish in high school, and am currently learning Korean on my own! I love learning about different cultures and hearing about people’s experiences. I am so excited to meet you all, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! :) (
Hi everyone! My name is Sunny Wang. I am a rising fourth year in Mclntire School of Commerce studying Finance and also major in Statistics. I was originally from China and came to Gastonia, North Carolina for high school when I was 16. I enjoy music, tea, reading, cooking, hiking and travelling! I went to UVa in Oxford and traveled in Europe during my first-year summer, and went to Dubai, Costa Rica, Peru during spring and winter break! It was a lot of fun meeting new people from different culture. On grounds, I was involved in Mainland Student Network, Smart Women Securities, Madison House CASH, V-Major Orchestra, and Asian Leader Council. I love all the seasons at UVa and cannot wait to welcome all of you to start your journey at this gorgeous place in August! (
Hey guys! My name is Sydney Fisher and I'm a rising third year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I'm majoring in Cognitive Science with a minor in 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! (
Hey everyone! My name is Victoria Gaudenzi and I am an international student from Brazil. I am a rising second-year in the College of Arts and Sciences and I hope to double major in Public Policy 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! (
Hey everyone! I'm Wenqian 'Wendy' Wang, a rising third year international student double major in Econ & Foreign affairs. I'm actively involved in CSSS, Minority Rights Coalition, and Madison House! I also love rock music, soccer, and meeting dogs on the lawn (even though I only have four chinchillas as pets). While I enjoy travel a lot, experiencing diverse local food attracts me even more so would love having you guys sharing recipes with me! Can't wait to meet you all. Go hoos! (
Hi everyone! My name is Yuki Zheng and I am a rising fourth-year, double majoring in Global Sustainability and History. I am very passionate about sustainable global development and environmental justice. I spent most of my life in Virginia but was raised in China for four years. I also had the chance to study in India for a J-term and it was one of the best experiences I had at UVA. I can't wait to welcome all you new hoos to Grounds and learn more from each of you! Let me know if you ever want to grab a cup of coffee and chat :) (
Hello! I'm Zhihan Yang, also go by David. I'm a rising third 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! (