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Meet Nicole

Nicole, a transfer and international student, talks about how the small class size was a deciding factor in her decision to choose Mills College over a larger UC school.

Nicole was looking for a learning environment where she could receive the individual attention that would help her flourish. One of her community college professors recommended Mills because of our intimate, supportive academic community. After sitting in on a class during a campus visit, Nicole knew Mills was the right place for her.

Hometown: Kaoshiung City, Taiwan

Transferred From: De Anza College

Major: Ethnic Studies

Minor: Economics

What made Mills unique compared to other schools? Before applying to Mills, I mostly applied to larger state schools. Mills caught my attention because I saw an opportunity to have closer relationships with my professors, which I knew would improve my learning experience. Plus, Mills offered me a scholarship. It’s fairly hard for international students to receive scholarships from the UC schools, and my scholarship brought the cost of attending Mills in line with the cost of a state school.

What are your professors and classmates like? At Mills, when I have any questions or concerns, I know my professors will respond either during class time or during office hours. They are always approachable and willing to give advice for our academic success. The students here are also very welcoming to each other. For example, during the exam period, students like to hold study groups and help one another if someone is having difficulty understanding the class materials.

Tell us about your major and minor. I am majoring in ethnic studies and minoring in economics. As a Taiwanese person, I am interested in studying racial relations in the United States and exploring how US society has approached different races historically. This helps me understand how race may be a critical element to a nation’s economic development.

How have you surprised yourself since arriving at Mills? Since attending Mills, I have become more aware of social justice issues in today’s society and more open minded when encountering different perspectives and values. I’ve also learned how to collaborate with others and respect their opinions. I hope I can bring this awareness of power dynamics and equality that I have learned at Mills back to Taiwan to help improve the economy.