Photo portrait of UC Davis tour guide Joelle Suh

Tell us a little about you.

Hello! I'm a third generation Korean American, and I'm currently a senior studying human development with an emphasis in health and wellbeing at UC Davis.

Why did you choose UC Davis?

I chose UC Davis for the beautiful campus, the campus culture, and the commitment to sustainability on campus. UC Davis has a beautiful campus, and there's such an incredible range of wildlife balanced with top-notch research facilities. I love that the campus and the city provide so many opportunities to get outside for some fresh air to enjoy not only natural beauty, but also the thriving college town that surrounds us. Students here are so welcoming and friendly, and there seems to be a tangible Aggie spirit here — it truly feels like we're all pushing each other forward to be better, together. UC Davis is also at the forefront of sustainability efforts among university campuses, and I am proud to attend a school that places so much emphasis on being greener for our planet and the future generations that will call it home.

What do you enjoy doing for fun here?

I enjoy going for long walks or bike rides in the many green belts and parks around Davis — including our very own UC Davis Arboretum! It's a fun activity to do with friends and is also such a peaceful way to escape the many responsibilities of student life and refocus on what is most important to me.

What activities have you been involved in here?

I work with Undergraduate Admissions not only as a Tour Guide, but also as a member of our Communications Team and as Chair of our Recruitment Team. I also recently finished two years working as an Aggie Public Health Ambassador and as staff at our campus COVID-19 Testing Kiosk. Outside of work, I volunteer with the UC Davis International House and UC Davis International Center to help international visitors to the Davis community improve their English, and I'm part of our Asian American Christian Fellowship.

How has UC Davis helped you grow?

Some unexpected areas of growth and new experience that I've had during my time at Davis have been exploring deeper ties to my cultural and ethnic identity. I've learned to embrace being Korean American and sought out ways to remain connected to my roots through practicing my Korean, indulging in arts and cultural exports from South Korea, and spending time with friends from Korea. Davis is such a unique and diverse campus and being surrounded by people from all over the globe with different backgrounds has encouraged me to not only tie myself closer to my own, but also to explore others.

What do you hope/plan to do after you graduate?

I plan to enroll in an Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program and become an RN. I hope to work as a traveling nurse for a couple years, then eventually pursue my Master of Science degree in nursing and become a nurse practitioner.

What has surprised you about UC Davis?

The thriving college town and student life at UC Davis definitely surprised me a bit! Before I committed to Davis, I was sure it would be a small, sleepy town with nowhere near as bustling of a campus culture as other universities. During my years here, I've found so many wonderful things that are uniquely Davis, and I've realized that UC Davis has many charms that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

What would you tell prospective students about UC Davis?

Keep an open mind and an open heart! Applying to and deciding on where to commit to college can be a stressful time — but have faith in yourself and strive to make the most out of wherever you end up. Once you've found the place you'll call home for the next four years (which is hopefully UC Davis!), don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to grow in ways you never thought possible.