Rosie head shot

Hye Won Lim

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
MajorFine Arts: Studio Art  
Campus: Jamestown

When Hye Won Lim (who's known around campus as Rosie) sat down to be interviewed for this profile, you could forgive her for being a bit distracted. Rosie, a studio arts student, had submitted a painting for the Fall 2012 SUNY (State University of New York) Student Art Exhibition, but hadn’t heard definitively whether or not her work had been chosen. So when I asked her how it felt to have her painting, “Valentine’s Day Gift,” featured in the exhibition, it came as something of a surprise.

“I didn’t know that I got in,” she said, a little confused.

“Well, the email that I got said that you did.”

“Where’s this email?” a friend of hers asked.

I showed them the email and took the opportunity to be the first person to congratulate her on her selection. Visibly relieved and elated, Rosie just smiled. It was one more surprise in a study abroad experience that’s been full of them.

Rosie took a more circuitous route to Jamestown than most. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, she attended high school and first attended college in Bangalore, India, before making the decision to switch things up and attend school in the U.S.

Valentine's Day Gift, by Hye Won LimSo she took to the Internet. Off of a tip from her aunt, she decided to search for art programs within the SUNY system.

“[The SUNY title] is more promising,” she explained. The name carries a certain amount of prestige, and “it makes me feel like it’s better than other, individual colleges.”

Still, she didn’t know quite what to expect when she got here. She thought it would be a tiny school with hardly any students. Thankfully, though, that wasn't the case.

“[JCC] was way better than I thought it would be,” she said, “not too big, not too small. I like everything here. Everything is so exciting, fascinating. It’s all new.”

That’s not to say that it was easy. Before settling on JCC, Rosie had applied to 5 or 6 different community colleges in the SUNY system. But the process for studying in the U.S. if you’re an international student is long and complicated. She said that the main reason she came to JCC was because they were willing to work with her, and that Victoria Peterson, the International Outreach Coordinator, would always respond to her questions quickly. Once she actually arrived on campus, Rosie noticed that same willingness to help everywhere, along with an overall sense of friendliness. 

“It’s not weird to say hello to strangers,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s an American thing, but people are really nice here.”

Rosie is unsure of what comes after JCC, but she knows that she wants to continue her studies in the U.S. Right now, she’s considering Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and possibly becoming an art teacher. She does know one thing for sure, though.

“I’ll definitely miss the people here. [The professors] take really good care of me. I feel like they’re family.”

Favorite Class: 2-D Design
Toughest Class: “Art History…Art History was really tough. They have new terms, new vocabulary [from what I’m used to]. Memorizing names and dates was tough.”
Advice for Other International Students: “I worried about a lot of things before I applied here, but I think they should just come and experience it, even if they want to go somewhere else, they should come and try first. I like it here. I don’t see any reasons why people shouldn’t come or are scared to come.”