Student Stories


Alison Dickson; United Kingdom; Doctoral program in Political Science
“The endless list of ISSI events has definitely been part of my most memorable experiences at Northeastern: gelato in Athens, the freezing cold sea at Martha’s Vineyard in October; cooking, fashion shows, and an ice carving competition are only a tiny handful.”


Meenakshi Lakshminarayanan; India; Master’s Program in Biotechnology
“ISSI has become my second home, a happy place. An international student would never feel unwelcome here. My relationship with ISSI has changed, because now I work here as a student employee, but I always knew I would always get help with whatever I needed at ISSI.

My friends at other universities in America don’t have organizations like this. It is very different being at Northeastern, and a great part of that difference is ISSI. One of the best things I have done here is help enlighten the Northeastern community [through programs such as training the campus police about other cultures’ reactions to police officers].”

Mbosonge Mwenechanya; Zambia; Doctoral program in Law, Policy and Society

“The way we look at the world is based on our upbringing, but we all have the larger goals of humanity. It is very useful to look at other perspectives. Through ISSI, we’re able to sit down and thoroughly question each other about other cultures in a safe, honest, and respectful environment.

And through international visitors [such as a speaker from the African Union whom Mbosonge was instrumental in bringing to campus], we learn how other cultures see themselves. As a freshman, I thought I needed to study economic development to help Africa, but I wound up concluding that economic theory and conventional wisdom as they apply to Africa are part of the problem.”


Zeu Hong Tzeng; Canada and Cambodia; Doctor of Pharmacy program

“ISSI has had a great impact on my life. You're here by yourself, you miss home, you’re overwhelmed. But ISSI has a great staff, very supportive, who know a lot about the University and the technical aspects of immigration.

The people make the place unique. They really know how to make international students feel at home at Northeastern. They even meet you at the airport! ISSI is all about bringing differences together, creating a common experience, and making connections.”

ISSI definitely helped my transition to Northeastern, but how it helped my personal development is equally important. I’m more open, more receptive, and much less apt to default to my own cultural interpretation of situations. When I see a different behavior, I think, 'Oh, that’s just part of their culture.'”