By Eugene Encola, C'21
As a new student at Penn and coming all the way from the Philippines, I attended NOVUS with all the accompanying fear and insecurity of being in a completely new environment. But, looking back, I have no regrets. As an international student, I didn’t know anyone in Philly - no friends and no family. This all changed the moment I stepped into the Newman Center to attend NOVUS.
It gave me the opportunity to meet my first friends, some of which remain to be my best friends until today. It allowed me to be a part of a family that genuinely cares about me in all aspects of my life - including spiritually. My fellow students who attended NOVUS became my brothers and sisters while the religious brothers and priests became my fathers. The talks at NOVUS also gave me insights into the Penn culture like the work hard, play hard mentality and Penn face, which allowed me to go to NSO and my classes knowing what to expect and how I could deal with it. My experience in NOVUS didn’t end there either.
After NOVUS, my newly-found family stayed together. We go to museums, baseball games, movies, and more together. Indeed, NOVUS was a door to endless experience. I highly recommend attending NOVUS, especially to international students. You’ll find your home away from home.