Meet Your Fellow International Anteater

The International Center is committed to facilitating an enriching college experience for the international community at UC Irvine. Meet Your Fellow Anteater is an opportunity for us to connect international students by highlighting the involvements, accomplishments, and experiences of the outstanding students in our community. Don't be afraid to say "hi" when you see your fellow anteater around campus. 


Raquel García Perales

Year: 1st Year Graduate Student
Major/Program: Spanish PhD Program
Home Country: 
Zaragoza, Spain
Native Language: Spanish
Favorite Quote: 
   It is forbidden not to smile at probem
   Not to fight for what you want,
   To abandon everything because of fear,
   Not to transform your dreams into reality.

1. What is your favorite American food/snack?

I really like American cheeseburger and French fries but the best food is the one you can share with your friends.  

2. What is your favorite thing about your hometown or home country?

The best thing about my home country is food. In Spain there are a lot of good food like paella and croquetas. The first one is rice with shellfish and I must say it is yummy! The second one is a kind of dough usually mixed either with shellfish like prawns or with ham. We also have typical Spanish ham known as jamon serrano which is very tasty so if you ever come to Spain, don’t forget to try it!  

3. Why did you choose to come to UCI?

I chose this university because I think is a good place to study and live. The graduate program is one of the best ones. The weather is perfect, the campus is huge and well-organized, and people are really nice. 

4. What were some challenges you faced when you first came to the U.S.?

Well, I think that every international student has two challenges when s/he comes to the U.S. The main one is the red tape because it drives you crazy (laughing). The bright side is that you learn to be patient! The second challenge is the question that everyone wonders when one travels alone. What happens if I can’t meet new friends? But don’t worry at all!! You will survive to your paperwork and you will make new friends at UCI, it’s very easy! The International Center and UCI, together with your undergraduate or graduate program, do a lot of events the first weeks to meet people so you’ll be fine friends, trust me! 

5. What advice would you like to give international students currently adjusting to life in the U.S?

Ask, ask, ask. You are an international student and it is normal that you have questions. So, seriously ask!! You need to understand and live in a new cultural and education system which may be different from yours so don’t be shy and make questions. The International Center, your faculty advisor, your peer and your friends are there for you! 

6. What is your favorite memory/experience at UCI so far?

UCI is a good university to live. You have a lot of things to do with yours friends. UCI prepares events every week so you can hang out with your friends here and even around Irvine. There is no waste in coming! I couldn’t choose only one memory. I have a lot of fond memories at UCI with my friends. But, If I had to choose only one, it would be the day that I met my Korean friend Young. I was in the Graduate Welcome event and Peter the Anteater came to dance with me. Then, Young began to dance with us. It was so funny! And that’s the way Young became one of my best friends!  Zot, Zot, Zot!!!!

Meet Other Fellow International Anteaters

Isaac Li

Max Li

Gabriela Santos

Imam Uz Zaman

Jasmine Ho

Feiyang Tao


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