The Sunflower

‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

Wichita+State+forward+Alyssia+Faye+drives+towards+the+rim+against+OBU%27s+Tasha+Edge.+
Wichita State forward Alyssia Faye drives towards the rim against OBU's Tasha Edge.

Wichita State forward Alyssia Faye drives towards the rim against OBU's Tasha Edge.

Matt Crow

Matt Crow

Wichita State forward Alyssia Faye drives towards the rim against OBU's Tasha Edge.

Advertisement

From ornate castles to gourmet foods, France is world-famous for a multitude of things. Basketball isn’t one of them.

Alyssia Faye, a freshman forward for the Shocker Women’s Basketball team and a native of Valence, France, has found her sport of choice to be exponentially more popular in the United States.

“The people here really, really enjoy basketball, and in France, we don’t have that culture,” Faye said.

Matt Crow
Wichita State guard Fanny Hakanson looks to pass over Southwest Baptist guard Bailey Rezabek.

Fanny Hakanson, a Shocker freshman guard from Stockholm, Sweden, said basketball was the driving force behind her decision to come to the U.S. for college.

“[Basketball in Sweden] is so much smaller than here,” Hakanson said. “That’s one thing that made me want to come here, because it’s so big here and it makes it more fun.”

Both Faye and Hakanson had only been to the U.S. once before committing to Wichita State.

“It’s a really big difference from Sweden, but I like it,” Hakanson said. “People are so nice and the team is so nice, so everything is good so far.”

Teams are almost always tight-knit units, but, when players are far from their loved ones, they can also serve as de facto families.

“I think that [the team is] really important because it’s all that I get here, so I really enjoy being with my team and all that because I don’t have my family here,” Faye said.

Besides Faye and Hakanson, there are two other international students on the women’s basketball team — junior Cesaria Ambrosia from Fully, Switzerland and sophomore Khady Sene from Mbour, Senegal.

Faye said she has formed a special bond with Hakanson over their shared experience as freshman international students.

“We have a lot of things in common because we’re from Europe too, so we share the same experience,” Faye said. “We are freshman. All is new here — it’s a new country, new language.”

Hakanson said she and Faye help each other through the hard times as they continue to adjust to life in a new coutry.

“We can talk about everything — like when we miss home and something is really different here,” Hakanson said. “It’s really good because we can talk about it and we have each other.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


About the Contributors
Matthew Kelly, Editor in Chief

Matthew Kelly is the editor in chief of The Sunflower.  Kelly is a junior majoring in political science and is a member of the honors college.  Kelly was born in Wichita, Kansas, and plans to pursue a career in political journalism after graduation.

Matt Crow, Sports Editor

Matt Crow is the Sports Editor for The Sunflower. Crow is a senior at Wichita State majoring in communications with an emphasis is electronic media. He was born in San Diego, California, but has spent most of his life living in Wichita, Kansas. After graduation, Crow plans to pursue a career in sports photography.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • ‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

    Campus

    International students will soon have cheaper health insurance options, Brinkley says

  • ‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

    Campus

    Moore: The interest for badges in higher education is growing

  • ‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

    Campus

    President of local NAACP chapter named WSU director of Military and Veteran Services

  • ‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

    Campus

    WSU reports 1.6 percent enrollment increase

  • ‘All is new here’: Freshmen bond over international student experience

    Campus

    Intoxicated student with firearm apprehended on campus last week