Local students graduating from high school can sometimes feel a strong urge to leave Lewis County for the anonymity of a larger city and a large college campus. But, for Jiale “Maggie” Long, Centralia College’s small campus is precisely what she wanted for her education.
Maggie came to CC in spring 2017 from Shenzhen, China, a city of more than 11 million people north of Hong Kong and one of China’s fastest growing cities.
“I looked at schools in California, Seattle, Oregon, but I liked Centralia College’s small number of students,” Maggie explained. “In my country, there are 100 or so students in every class. It’s very different. Here, the teachers can focus on the individual. It’s a different kind of study and a different teaching style. There’s a community here.”
Maggie is studying communications and media studies at CC. She’s heavily involved in the campus’ International Student Club and is a student worker for the International Education program. Her supervisor, Laju Nankani, director of International Education, said Maggie has been a special addition to their program.
“When she first came here, she struggled with her English, but she made so much progress very quickly. She’s a very impressive student,” Nankani said. “She’s so good with technology and has been helping us a lot with our social media. She’s written blogs in Mandarin and has made videos for us and answered questions for other students.”
Outside the classroom, Maggie has enjoyed living with other international students and a local host family. She lives with students from Japan, Russia, and China, and the group has regular adventures.
“We went to Las Vegas,” Maggie exclaimed. “I won $40!!”
Maggie said it’s been easy to make friends at CC and become part of the tight-knit campus community.
Her best advice to other students is simple.
“Going to class every day is the best way to get a higher score or GPA. If you go to class every day, you’ll know everything the teacher said,” she said.
Maggie plans to graduate from CC this June and transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in media studies. She wants to be a writer.