Penn State is continuing to respond to the spread of coronavirus. Monitor our Coronavirus Information website for more updates.

An Unforgettable Start to Being a World Campus Student

This fall, Ayaka Kubo will begin her studies in the World Campus Organizational Leadership program — and she’s starting with a bang, thanks to an unforgettable experience last week.

Last Friday, she boarded a plane with her husband, Jack, and she didn’t know where they were going. It was a surprise, and he refused to tell her their destination. The two live in Georgetown, Texas, so Ayaka thought they might be headed to Colorado to beat the heat. Then she saw Philadelphia on her boarding pass.

“We’re going to Pennsylvania, but we’re not going to Penn State?” she asked her husband.

“Yes, we are going to Penn State,” he replied.

“But if I knew that, I could have made an appointment to meet my adviser in person!” she exclaimed. Yet another delighted surprise followed — Ayaka learned that her husband had already been in touch with her adviser, Julia Glover, and arranged for a meeting.

Ayaka and her adviser Julia in the Outreach Building.
Ayaka and her adviser Julia in the Outreach Building. Courtesy: Ayaka Kubo

Ayaka said it was amazing to meet her academic adviser in person. It wasn’t the first time they had seen each other, since the two had video chatted on Skype. But, she said, “I was surprised to see how tall Julia was when I met her in person!”

“Julia showed me and Jack around the rest of the Outreach Building. I was really glad to meet the team” at World Campus, she said. “They helped me understand how much they care about us and our feedback.”

Seeing the fantastic sites of Penn State

While spending the day in State College, Ayaka saw many memorable Penn State monuments — the Lion Shrine, the University Libraries, and Beaver Stadium. She even had a chance to see Penn State President Graham Spanier grooving with a band during Arts Fest. “Earlier that day, we heard from students that he’s a very ‘hands-on’ president, so we were glad to see him in action,” Ayaka said.

Another highlight of her trip was getting a photo student ID card. Of course, while she was here, she decided to make a stop at a place she had heard about so many times — the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street!

Ayaka tasting the Creamery's delicious ice cream.
Ayaka tasting the Creamery’s delicious ice cream. Courtesy: Ayaka Kubo

“The smell, the sound, the colors, interesting people, all the history — things that have been invented and discovered right there on campus — there is so much to see and learn. I really didn’t want to leave,” she said. “But I told the Nittany Lion that I’ll be back with a cap and gown in a few years.

“Being on campus is something you just have to experience. I highly recommend doing it, even if it’s difficult,” she said. “I’m really thankful to Jack and Julia and everyone I met who made my visit extra special.”

We’re happy to have met you in person, Ayaka! Best of luck in the coming semester!