International Peer Advisors (IPAs) are current PLU students. They were just like you, coming here as international students or American students working hard to become a part of community within the university. With experience and enthusiasm, all the IPAs are looking forward to meeting you and assisting you through the first week at PLU. They will be here to welcome you, to be your first friend on campus, to give you the best advice for new students, and to help you get ready for school. They, as a team, are working hard to prepare a big welcome for you to our university!

Meet the IPA Team

Frances Steelquist


Year: Senior
Major: Kinesiology – Exercise Science
Country: U.S.A.
Campus Involvement: Outdoor Recreation, Music Ensembles
What I Like Most About PLU: The support within PLU’s different communities. Us students are continuously given opportunities by the faculty to try new things and push limits – that makes for an awesome environment.
One Piece of Advice: You are the agent of your education – own it! You don’t have to pursue everything or be friends with everyone, but whatever you do is yours and you have the power to make it good.

Sarah Newman


Year: Senior
Major: Biology; Hispanic Studies minor
Country: U.S.A.
Campus Involvement: Cross-country and track & field athlete, Biology Club, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Pre-Professional Health Sciences Club, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Alpha Sigma, Undergraduate Research, iGroup, Club Keithly
What I Like Most About PLU: The number of opportunities available for students to engage with their interests is otherworldly. There are so many things to try and so many things to do!
One Piece of Advice: Don’t be afraid to get involved on campus! Find a group to get involved with that gets you out of your room and involved with your interests!

Sunny Huang


Year: Senior
Major: Biochemistry; Biology and Psychology minors
Country: China
Campus Involvement: PLU Chem Club President, Undergraduate Researcher, Chemistry Teaching Assistant, Barista/Cashier on campus
What I Like Most About PLU: The tight-knit community PLU has to offer to students, and that the connections students establish while getting themselves involved on campus are life-long relationships.
One Piece of Advice: Get involved! Why binge-watch TV shows alone, when you can grab tasty snacks and go on adventures with a group of friends?

Ida Martine Amlie Wahlstrøm


Year: Senior
Major: Global Studies; Business minor
Country: Norway
Campus Involvement: At PLU, next to being an International Peer Advisor (IPA), I am involved in the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA) which assists incoming and current Norwegians within the PLU community. Furthermore, I am engaged in the United Students Association that was founded in Fall 2016, where we as a group aim to foster connections between the domestic and foreign students through social activities. Here, I pursued further involvement for the domestic/international student perspective through the Scandinavian Center and “Around the World.”
What I Like Most About PLU: I love how PLU is full of opportunities in terms of study away programs and various spectrums of campus engagement. The teacher-student ratio is excellent, hence the small community makes each student more visible in terms of their dreams and goals.
One Piece of Advice: Regardless if you want to be a sports enthusiast, seek global perspectives from the Wang Center, or be an advocate for the Diversity Center, it all originates from your own initiative of curiosity and inquiry. Utilize the great resources and opportunities that PLU offers to their students.

Olivia Cook


Year: Senior
Major: Political Science and Global Studies
Country: U.S.A.
Campus Involvement: Ultimate Frisbee, Pre-Law Association, Career Peer Educator at Career Connections, Concert Band
What I Like Most About PLU: I really appreciate the strong sense of community at PLU. Professors are always willing to help with coursework and get to know you, and it’s hard to make it across campus without seeing someone you know.
One Piece of Advice: Don’t be afraid to try new things! PLU is a great place to explore new interests like clubs, activities, or classes. You can also join the Ultimate Frisbee team – it’s a great way to make a lot of new friends and stay in shape!

Meet the Admissions Interns

Van Nguyen


Year: Junior
Major: Computer Science
Country: Vietnam
Campus involvement: Intern with International Student Center, Club Keithley
What I Like Most About PLU: I like the people at PLU the most. As an international student, I’ve learned the need for my family and my friends more than ever. I believe it is the most important to feel supported and taken care of for me to be motivated in this new place. At PLU, I can come meet with the professors in their office hours or through email whenever I need. This is great as I don’t feel distant with my own professors, the people who bring me knowledge every day. Further, there are people that are willing to talk to me about my problems. It warms my heart because people here do care about you!
One Piece of Advice: Get out of your comfort zone. This is what I’ve heard so many times before I came here. I know it’s hard but it’s all worth it at the end. Meeting new people, joining in the clubs that you’re interested in, enjoying your college life! You’ll never know if you don’t try, maybe you can meet friends for life just from that one event you’re not so sure to attend.

Cheong Wun Cho


Year: Senior
Major: Business
Country: Korea
Campus Involvement: Asian & Pacific Islands Club, United Students Association, Mary-Lund Student Investment, Intramural Soccer, Ignite
What I Like Most About PLU: The close support and encouragement from faculty and staff of PLU generate a strong motivation to students to venture and achieve their goals. My challenge lets me create an opportunity to reach, and their support energizes me to keep working hard.
One Piece of Advice: Opportunities are always there and are given to those who challenge.

Camille Chen


Year: Junior
Major: Nursing
Country: China
Campus Involvement: Intern with International Student Center
What I Like Most About PLU: There are lots of things I like about studying at PLU, one of which is its beautiful campus. It provides a pleasant studying atmosphere. PLU is also in close proximity to Mount Rainier, which gives us opportunity to enjoy the stunning view every day, and access to recreational outdoor activities easily. However, one of the aspects of PLU I love most is that it offers small-sized classes because it allows development of close relationship between students and professors. As a nursing student, I appreciate the small-sized classes because there are more opportunities to participate in the class, and I can benefit from more one-to-one attention from professors.
One Piece of Advice: It will be beneficial to get to know your professor. Chatting with a professor might give you inspiration on the academic area you want to major in if you are still uncertain about your major. Another thing is that professors sometimes are well-connected to internship and job opportunities. They might be able to give you information on the type of job you are interested in.

Joel Goh


Year: Senior
Major: Computer Science and Communications
Country: U.S.A./Malaysia
Campus Involvement: ROTC, Intern with International Student Center
What I Like Most About PLU: PLU IS AMAZING! What else can I say? The campus is so beautiful, people here are nice and friendly, class sizes are small, instructors are great and there are so many ways to be a part of the Lute community! If I had to choose what I like most, it would definitely be the small class sizes. I mean, this was my main deciding factor for choosing PLU! Smaller class sizes often offer more teacher-student interaction, less distractions, a lot more opportunities to clarify things and you get to know your professors better.
One Piece of Advice: Make as many friends as you possibly can with your time at PLU! Good relationships go a long way in life and university is possibly the best time for increased networking. If something happens to you or you just need someone to talk to, you will always have your close friends right around the corner. Lastly, just enjoy the whole university experience at PLU.