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International Programs

East Tennessee State University

Featured Profiles: International Students

Picture of Meng (Emily) ZhangMeng (Emily) Zhang is a junior studying Computational Applied Mathematics.  Emily is from the city of Jinan, which is in Shandong Province, China.  This is the same city that Lisha (a profile from October) is from and they have been friends for a long time!  Emily says that the weather is quite similar to Johnson City, but it is much more crowded.  She also thinks that her city's most beautiful season is spring.  Emily is the only child in her family.  She is also the oldest cousin, so she has had the responsibility of taking care of her little cousins.  Her grandparents live far away, so her closest family relationships are with her parents.  She appreciates them for helping her to come to ETSU! 

Meng chose the American name, Emily when she was 9 years old.  Because she has had the name Emily for so long it is as important to her as her Chinese name.  She chose Emily because she liked the letter E.  Emily means small, cute, smart girl in German.  Meng means the grass grows in the spring.  One of Emilys hobbies is collecting rings that have a special meaning.  She also likes to run and watch romantic movies.  Emily is a Christian and became one in high school.  She has learned from her faith to be kind and that good results can even come through suffering. 

 One of the most surprising experiences Emily has had since coming to the USA was looking out the window of her host familys home and seeing a deer!  In China you can only see animals in the zoo, so seeing an animal in the wild was quite surprising for Emily!  In October, Emily went to the Apple Festival in Erwin, TN with her host family.  There were shows with dancing and singing and lots of food made with apples.  Early in the semester Emilys buddy, Miranda, gave her a tour of the campus and helped her find the quickest way from her dorm to her classes.  They also have eaten meals together.  Emily was also able to go on a hike at Doe River Gorge with her small group. 

 Emily plans on staying at ETSU for 2 years to finish her undergraduate degree.  She then hopes to go to England for graduate school and eventually to be a financial advisor.  Emily said that sometimes Chinese are seen as keeping to themselves, but this is not because they do not want to be friends with others, but because they are shy and sometimes have a difficult time not being hurt when they are not understood.  Emily believes that joining IBB has been a wise choice and she is excited to go to more activities and meet more people!


Picture of Rentsenkhand Enkh-AmgalanRentsenkhand Enkh-Amgalan is a junior Marketing Management major with a minor in Economics.  She is from Mongolia and her nickname is Handaa.  She is originally from Uluanbaatar, Mongolias capital city.  She was born and grew up in this city of 1 million people.  There are 2.9 million in all of Mongolia, so 1/3 of the population lives in the capital!  Handaa moved away from her home when she was 17 to go to the American University in Bulgaria.  She studied here for two years and then applied to ETSU to finish her undergraduate degree.  Handaas grandparents are nomadic and Handaa lived in this lifestyle during her school breaks when she was small.  Handaa has two brothers and one sister.  One of her brothers is in graduate school at the University of Japan and the other works in construction.  Her sister is a music teacher in a high school in Mongolia.

Handaas full name is Rentsendkhand Enkh-Amgalan  and means goddess of treasure.  Handaas parents went to a Buddhist monk to ask for her name.  Her name is in a traditional Tibetan language.  Mongolia is 53% Buddhist and 35% nonreligious.  Mongolia has been Democratic since 1990 and has a Parliamentary Republic of 76 members.  Handaa likes to read fiction novels.  Her favorite series is Jennifer Donnellys Tree Rose Trilogy.  She also likes to study and watch comedy movies.  Her favorite TV show is Friends. 

Handaa has spent her last two summer vacations working at Marthas Vineyard in Massachusetts.  They told her there that Tennesseans would be full of southern charm.  She has found that to be true!  Her host family is wonderful and she is going to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with her roommates family.  Since coming to ETSU, Handaa has joined Sigma Alpha Phi and worked as a volunteer at the ETSU Coat Drive.  She also loves going to World Caf to hang out with friends and play games!  

Handaa is working on her honors thesis entitled, Consumer Behavior in Mongolia.  She is looking at the differences and similarities between nomadic and metropolitan consumer behaviors in Mongolia.  Nomadic people in her country are self sufficient and are 30% of the total population. Handaa plans on graduating from ETSU in May 2016 and then going to Washington DC for an internship.  She also hopes to go to graduate school for marketing. 

Handaa has really enjoyed IBB and her buddy, Alexandria has invited her to a birthday party, rock concert, games at her apartment, and taken her to the store.  Handaa really appreciates her buddy!  Handaas small group is going ice skating soon and she is very excited about it!  Handaa wants to thank IBB for providing campus activities, buddies, and host families.  She is also thankful for the Midway Honors Program that allows her to take honors classes outside her program.  

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