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Home Away from Home: A Culture Club for Everyone

Where to find comfort amid Boston University’s large student body. 


By Jacqueline Liu


Photo By Adriana Rivera

Whether your home is a 15-minute drive from campus or a 19-hour flight from Boston Logan International Airport, finding a sense of comfort and community in a large school like Boston University is undoubtedly challenging. 


For international students like Miko Kuo (ENG ‘26) — a mechanical engineering major whose home is 7,706 miles away in Taipei — it can be incredibly lonely trying to navigate living in a new country without any family by your side. 


“I’m very close to my parents, so it just sucks sometimes because the time difference makes it hard to call or even text them throughout the day,” said Kuo.


Kuo also expressed that, as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) who attended an international school in China, it was hard at first to find people who could understand and relate to his experiences growing up.   


However, after joining the Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) at BU, he realized there was “literally an entire community of students” who have dealt with the same struggles, experienced the same culture shocks, and felt just as out of place as he once did. 


“I don’t really know how to put this in words, but when you connect with people from the same cultural background as you who have been through similar experiences in a foreign country, it’s almost as if there’s like an unspoken understanding or connection between you guys. Like something just clicks,” said Kuo.


Currently, Kuo is a sophomore representative on TASA’s executive board. He hopes to help other international students find their own home away from home. 


Beyond Kuo’s story, for American-born Koreans like Kate Seo (CAS ‘26), cultural spaces like the Korean Student Association (KSA) can help students tune deeper into their Korean roots. 


“I was born and raised in the States, but since my parents are both Korean, I’ve always wanted to learn more about Korea and meet people who share similar backgrounds as me,” said Seo. 


In hopes of becoming more involved with the club members, she has also taken on the role of picking up Littles in KSA. Bigs and Littles in student organizations like TASA and KSA often meet on their own time to grab food, catch up, and connect outside of club meetings and events. 


“Being a part of a community like KSA is also so nice because now when I visit Korea, I have friends who I can explore the area with, and they always show me around all the fun and local places there,” voiced Seo.


Like TASA and KSA, various culture clubs on campus, such as the German Culture Club, Vietnamese Student Association, Puerto Rican Student Association, Hong Kong Student Association, and others, have cultivated an environment for students from all walks of life to celebrate and share bits of their culture with other students on campus. 


“It’s so true when people say that home is not a place, but a feeling,” said Kuo. “Because when I’m surrounded by a group of people from similar upbringings who just get it, it honestly feels like a little piece of home thousands of miles away from my family.”

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