Meet IHP's Resident Advisors

Gilberto A. Vilá Arroyo

Age: 21

Country: United States (Puerto Rico)

University: Temple University

Field of study: Podiatric Medicine

House: C House

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I want to gain leadership experience from providing people with the help they require and to support international exchange through cultural events.

 

I chose to live at International House because I'm attracted to the idea of having students from around the globe live together to interact and share all aspects of their people's culture.

 

I hope to become a podiatric physician and surgeon. I aspire to return to Puerto Rico and work alongside my uncle in his clinic.

 

When I'm not busy with either studying or working, I enjoy biking along Kelly Drive or just watching films and series.

 

It's hard to choose which my favorite cuisine is because I essentially enjoy them all, but one of my favorites is Arabic.

 

I believe the best way to promote international understanding is through eating together, either in big cultural events or small familial gatherings, I hope to do both so that we may all understand each other better.

 

People may be surprised to learn that I visited Japan only to see my friends who I met in International House. If I'd never met them I would've never even thought about going.

 

Belen Quereda Bernabeu

Age: 31

Country: Spain

University: Thomas Jefferson University

Field of study: Medicine

House: B House

I became a Resident Advisor because I wanted to help other residents feel at home.

I chose to live at International House because I enjoy the multicultural environment and the variety of cultural events that we can attend here.


I hope to become a pathologist.

I enjoy reading, singing, playing the guitar, visiting places and chilling with friends, when I’m not studying or working.

My favorite food or cuisine is Indian, although I still have to try many others!

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to get familiar with the different cultures of I-House and encourage residents to attend cultural events where they can learn about traditions and rituals in other societies and their meaning.

People may be surprised to learn that I never considered leaving my country until I was almost 30.

Tamara Galoyan

Age: 31

Country: Armenia

University: Drexel University

Field of study: Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Learning Technologies

House: A House / Suite A13

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to the benefit of people around.

 

I chose to live at International House because it offers a warm and welcoming environment to its residents.

 

I hope to become a researcher /educator who always seeks for creative and novel solutions to the issues faced by the current educational system.

 

I enjoy listening to music, reading, and socializing with people when I’m not studying or working.

 

My favorite food is cheese, with a good red wine.

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to enhance awareness and tolerance of cultural, racial, religious, and other types of diversities that exist among people.

 

People may be surprised to learn that despite being very outgoing and friendly, I prefer to work and study alone in a peaceful and very quiet environment.

Adit Gupta

Age: 18 

Country: United States

University: Drexel University 

Field of study: Software Engineering and Mathematics 

House: G House (9th floor)

I became a Resident Advisor because I love meeting new people, helping/teaching people and providing valuable input for those who are new to this country.

I chose to live at International House because of the most diverse crowd of amazing people in all of Pennsylvania!

I hope to become a successful software engineer and transition into a managerial position. 

I enjoy playing tennis, reading, and learning about new technologies when I’m not studying or working.

My favorite foods or cuisine are Chinese, Indian and Italian food! 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to help organize many diverse cultural shows and promote learning of different parts of the world.

People may be surprised to learn that I enjoy cooking and can make almost anything as long as I see a recipe.

Mohamed Ben Halim

Age: 28

Country: Libya

University: Drexel University 

Field of study: Economics 

House: D House 

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I really like being helpful, and using my expertise in making people's lives in Philadelphia easier and more enjoyable.

 

I chose to live at International House because it offers an amazing mix of cultures and personalities from all around the world that lead to great friendships.

 

I hope to become a person that makes a positive impact in the quality of people's lives through public policy, economic analysis and information technology.

 

I enjoy video games and intellectual discussions when I’m not studying or working.

 

My favorite foods or cuisine are Italian and my mother's.

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to listen, understand, and exchange points of view in a peaceful understanding environment.

People may be surprised to learn that I enjoy the ballet and classical music.

Anna Monastero

Age: 20

Country: China

University: Drexel University 

Field of study: Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish

House: F House—11th floor

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I want to be a source of support and leadership to residents. I hope to help make residents’ transition to Philadelphia enjoyable, and overall I hope to play a positive role in their life here at the International House.

 

I chose to live at International House because I love the diverse and inclusive environment it presents. I wanted to live in a place where I could actually connect with the people around me in a meaningful way. After living here for a month, I can easily attest that the International House is a cultural community that feels like home.

 

I hope to become a sustainability consultant someday. There is so much I would love to do to further our protection and understanding of the environment, so any worthwhile career pertaining to environmental protection would be amazing. 

 

I enjoy being outdoors when I’m not studying or working. I’m happiest when I’m doing something active and surrounded by nature.

 

My favorite food or cuisine is anything vegetarian! Even better if it’s vegan.

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to try to break down the cultural barriers and stereotypes that have been set in place. I think the best way to promote international understanding is to meet people of all countries and cultures with an open mind. When you do this, you begin to realize that our shared values and beliefs are far more important than our differences.

 

People may be surprised to learn that I ran in the Penn Relays for my high school.

 

Jingyi Sun

Age: 25

Country: China

UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania

Field of study: Architecture

House: E House/ 13 West

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I like to help residents, and pass my passion and love to everyone.

 

I chose to live at International House because it is a big warm family and accepts diverse cultures.

 

I hope to become an architect.

 

I enjoy doing exercise when I’m not studying or working.

 

My favorite food or cuisine is dumplings.

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to make a cultural series that let people know deeper cultures from different regions.

People may be surprised to learn that I am afraid of ants.

Burcu Tezcan

Age: 30

Country: Turkey

University: Drexel University

Field of study: Environmental Engineering

House: J House and Apts./ 3rd , 4th , 5th , 6th floors

 

I became a Resident Advisor because my aim is to encourage understanding, respect and cooperation among the diverse residents of IHP. I like to deliver warm, welcoming and friendly help to residents in their experiences in the USA.

 

I chose to live at International House because I like diversity. Living in International House gives me the opportunity to interact with people come from different backgrounds, different countries and different cultures.

 

I hope to become a professional engineer to contribute global environmental issues. 

 

I enjoy walking around the University City and taking pictures when I’m not studying or working.

 

My favorite cuisine is Mediterranean.

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to encourage the concept of all humans are created equal.


People may be surprised to learn that I wanted to be an actress when I was young.

Emily K. Zanker

Age: 21

Country: United States

University: University of Pennsylvania

Field of Study: Cognitive Science, Linguistics Concentration

House: H House

 

I became a Resident Advisor because I want to play a crucial role in bringing an international community closer and to be at the forefront of promoting and participating in cultural events. I enjoy providing support for my peers as well as having the opportunity to bring ideas to life. 

 

I chose to live at International House because I want to live in a diverse setting, and get out of my comfort zone. I have lived in Philadelphia all my life, and becoming an IHP resident is the first step towards exploring the world simply by meeting people with diverse experiences. I love the mission of IHP and feel as though the goals for my own life are aligned with the role IHP plays. 

 

I hope to become a person who loves her job. As of right now I am exploring international career options. I am interested in Experimental Semiotics Research, becoming an Aviation Officer in a branch of the U.S. military, and working in Linguistic Data analysis. No matter what my career is, I hope to continue acting as a mediator between and resource for a wide variety of people.

 

I enjoy learning languages, exercising, cooking, hiking, reading, and drawing/painting/creating jewelry when I’m not studying or working.

 

My favorite food or cuisine is hard to capture. I like a lot of food. The first things that come to mind however are sushi and steak. German Christmas cookies and pumpkin pie are also amazing. And cherries are my favorite fruit. 

 

One of the things I plan to do to promote international understanding is to encourage open dialogue between residents and kick-start these events with internationally popular themes, such as TV shows, food, and music. International understanding requires an open mind and a willingness to learn; I hope to lead by being a good model of those ideals during all events, both formal and informal. 

 

People may be surprised to learn that I really like stollen, a type of German fruitcake, despite the fact that I am allergic to gluten. Also, I am currently learning Russian and I have a History minor.