International student builds community at Florida Poly

Nov 19, 2020
Juhyung Kim

Juhyung Kim, an international student from Canada, stands beside his residence hall room at Florida Polytechnic University, where he is a resident assistant. The computer engineering major works to make the University experience a positive one for his peers.

Juhyung Kim and his family moved from South Korea to Canada when he was 13, and the culture shock led him to embrace the world of Minecraft, a sandbox video game, on his home computer.

“I started doing programming because that was what I was able to do with the beginning of my transition of moving to Canada because everything was vastly different,” said Kim, now a sophomore majoring in computer engineering at Florida Polytechnic University. “I discovered my programming hobby because I liked adding new monsters to the game using my programming skills. I found it really intriguing that something I made that did exactly what I wanted it to do could still do something unexpected.”

Kim dove into programming and discovered it could become a rewarding career. He researched his options for college and knew that Florida Poly could help make this a reality.

“I chose Florida Poly because it has a concentration in machine learning and because of the campus,” Kim said. “I’m more of an introverted person who thrives in a smaller community, which fits the environment at Florida Poly.”

Nov. 16-20 is International Education Week, and Kim, an international student, is making the most of his experience at Florida Poly. As a resident assistant, he works to help make on-campus life more engaging and supportive for those living in the residence halls.

“When I looked into being an RA and I found out it was more than just supervising, and also entails interacting with other people and creating the community, it was something I wanted to do,” Kim said. “That’s what I enjoy about being an RA.”

Back home in Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, Kim’s parents and sisters support his academic efforts. His father, a custodian, and mother, a chef, didn’t hesitate to rally behind his decision to attend Florida Poly – a University more than 3,000 miles away.

“They were surprised, but they didn’t really show it,” he said. “They support my decision.”

Kim said Florida Poly is an excellent option for international students considering a science, technology, engineering, or math degree in the United States because it offers a welcoming setting for everyone.

“I think the University is pretty diverse in terms of student population and faculty,” Kim said. “Its total inclusion environment is good.”


Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications