Student Spotlight: Hazel Choi

Hazel Choi

Haeseo (Hazel) Choi

Graduate Student

Major: Urban & Regional Planning, MA

Home Town: Seoul, South Korea

Hazel has been a Global Leader with ISSS since 2019. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Louie Barozzi International Scholarship. 

What is your dream job?

City Planner or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst

What types of activities are you involved in at SJSU or in your community?

  • SJSU Recognized Student Organizations: Urban Planning Coalition, TRANSITion, 
  • On-campus job: Global Leader at ISSS, 
  • Community Organization: CommUniverCity 

What is something you want others to know about your hometown, home country, or culture?

The city of Seoul consists of various colors. The city, for example, has a high-tech aspect in the Gangnam area, and shows more traditional history in the Gangbuk area. One of the hottest places is Itaewon, where diverse ethnicities and cultures are mixed together. I also strongly recommend eating street food if you visit Seoul. There are so many kinds, such as Eomuk, Bung-eo-ppang, Tteok-bokki, which is very delicious and cheap!

What do you enjoy most about SJSU?

I take advantage of the school’s various resources as an SJSU student. Academically, I use the Writing Center to review my assignments once more before submitting them. In particular, graduate students can meet with tutors for 1 hour. I have also joined student organizations that are related to my major. Through these organizations, I received financial support for conferences or seminars that I wanted to attend. Finally, I have learned professional skills and tips that I was unfamiliar with as a foreigner and built networking by attending events hosted by ISSS or the Career Center. 

Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?

My favorite place within the school is the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery in the art building. Sometimes I get too stressed out, or if I want to go somewhere quiet, I take my time there while disconnecting from the world for a while.

What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or SJSU?

At first, I had difficulty communicating with professors and American students. It would have been helpful to know a little earlier about how important emails are in the U.S. After time to get over it, I Immediately contact and confirm with professors regarding any confusing matters related to the class. In addition, I first shared articles related to the class by email to my classmates and formed a friendship with them. It is also important to check the email frequently as various school updates are notified through email.

What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but I think it creates anxiety and uncertainty, especially for those studying abroad. We can only take classes online and have fewer opportunities to experience various American cultures. At this point, I think it’s important to look back on why we are attending SJSU. I believe we’ve all come here to achieve our own goals. Think positively and hope that everyone will endure well at this time. Best wishes for this new semester!!

Comments are closed.