NC State’s Libraries Special Collections Center is proud to offer a project called Wolf Tales that allows students and staff to share their memories and experiences here at NCSU. Members of the NC State community are invited to sit down in front of the camera and tell their own stories and experiences in English. The students then choose whether to save their story in the library archives.
Mary Estrada, a lecturer in the Foreign Language department, heard about Wolf Tales and thought it would be the perfect project for her international students. Mary teaches FLE 400 (Advanced American English Pronunciation) and most of her students are international graduate students who are non-native English speakers.
These students come from many different cultures. The class and conversation opportunities offer a welcome respite for students who spend most of their day working on research or course projects.
Mary had her students come up with their own questions to interview each other for Wolf Tales. Some questions included what the student missed the most about home, their first impressions of NC State, and life on campus and in Raleigh. One of Mary’s students, Aries Zhou, in her Wolf Tales interview, was asked to describe the first thing she noticed when she arrived in America. She answered with, “All of the trees. In China, we have tall buildings. The first time I got off the plane, I was like, ‘it’s a whole sea of trees!”
NC State is a huge campus and can make a person feel very small. It is important for every individual here at NC State to be immersed and thrive in this community.
This can be especially hard for international students because they not only have to adjust to a new school, but also to the language and culture. Wolf Tales is an amazing tool for these international students to thrive in the NC State community because they can make their stories known.
Vy Nguyen, one of the Wolf Tales students, was asked during her interview: “What advice do you have for other international students at NC State?” She answered saying, “You’re going to feel like this is home. You’re going to learn a lot and experience a lot of cool things. Try to open your mind. You can find your pack.” This advice speaks to the whole Wolf Pack Community, no matter their history.