Posted March 15, 2013

Temple Made: Christine C. Khor

Name: Christine C. Khor

Year: Senior

School: School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Major: hospitality management

Home town: Phnom Penh, Cambodia (born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Why I chose Temple: "Originally I'm from Malaysia. I grew up there until I was 8, then my family moved to Cambodia. I remember during my senior year in high school, I was going through the pages of a college magazine and I came across Temple University. It looked like a pretty campus, and I remember they highlighted that it was an international community. That appealed to me. I knew I wanted to be on the East Coast, and I knew I wanted to be in a city.

"I think I made a great choice in coming to Philadelphia. Over the years, I've been able to explore Philadelphia and what it has to offer, from entertainment to food. One thing that I had to adjust to was public transportation. Cambodia didn't have public transportation, so I had to learn how to take the subway in Philadelphia. That was a big adjustment, but now I take the subway everywhere."

Transformative moment: "My freshman year was tough. I knew that it would be hard to be away from my parents and my sisters, but I didn't realize how hard. I'm a shy person. It's not easy for international students. When I went back home for the summer after my freshman year, I told my parents I didn't want to go back to Temple. My parents were understanding, but they encouraged me to give it one last try. That was when everything changed for me.

"When I first came to Temple, I didn't know about the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. I always loved event planning. When I came back, the more I thought about what I wanted to do as a career, I knew I had to change to STHM. That was one of the best decisions I've made. It was a perfect match. I found my passion. In the future, I would like to be in event management in the hospitality industry. I love my major and I can't see myself doing anything else.

"In my sophomore year, I got an email from Temple International Student and Scholar Services saying that the International Student Association was looking for executive board members. I thought, 'Hey, I should get involved.' The event coordinator position was open. I applied and got the position. I've been with the executive board of the International Student Association for two and a half years now. We meet every Saturday. They're my best friends. They're from Indonesia, Poland — all over the world. There are eight of us, and we work so well together. We call ourselves the Dream Team because we know we can do anything. The experiences we've had working as a team, those are lessons that I can apply after I graduate. It has really helped me grow as a person and as a student.

"We want other international students to know they're not alone. We want to be their second family, their home away from home. We want them to tell people how Temple helped them have a good time here. It's hard to believe that I was so close to leaving after my freshman year. Temple has so much to offer. I'm so glad I decided to stay."