My Davidson | A Student Blog ‘Fernweh’: Exploration, Student Support & Campus Community

a compilation of pictures of a young woman with her friend

Davidson College student Shen Luo ’25 reflects on her experiences in college and what it has meant to explore the unknown as an international student at Davidson.

About the Author

Shen Luo '25 (she/her/hers) is a history and intended political science major from China. "I usually spend my time drinking coffee, playing around with different instruments, wandering around campus, or just enjoying the luxury of wasting my time."

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote.” — Herman Melville

I am a chaser of the unknown, as you can probably tell from the title of this piece — a German word referring to an everlasting desire to explore the remote. I came to Davidson with nearly blank expectations about my college life and what I am going to do, and Davidson has helped me shape my life and identity as a college student.

Support From Every Direction

Similar to how it can be easy for sailors to lose their direction amid the sea without proper support and equipment, I could also become lost in college without support and guidance. Due to my enthusiasm for the unknown and challenges, this uncertainty and unfamiliarity sometimes overwhelms me. That is one major reason that I love Davidson: my academic journey is well-supported from every direction here.

Boundless Conversations

There are no boundaries for conversations at Davidson. I can easily set up an appointment with Dr. Fernandez at the Writing Center, and last semester I usually discussed my essays with her for more than two hours. I also have weekly German tutoring lessons, and I can set up more if I want to practice my German proficiency.

Professors here are always ready for a conversation with you of any kind, from academic to daily life. After finishing one office hour meeting and walking out of the office, I can immediately have another chat with my classmates in the hallway about, say, abstract expressionism.

Culture & Community

Shen Luo '25 and Friend Alice '24 Cooking

Shen and friend, Alice ’24, cooking in Belk Dormitory at Davidson College.

Before coming to Davidson, I was a bit worried about the cultural differences at a predominantly white institution, but these differences have, in fact, facilitated my integration into the student community. I am able to provide a different perspective in my history class, and I can chat with my friends about different cultural practices that the communities I belong to have.

On the other hand, I also find myself being supported by a firm, united community with people holding shared cultural identities: I play card games and cook Asian dishes with my Asian friends. However, we definitely would not have gotten here on our own. Departments like International Student Programs (ISP) help to unite us through their continuous efforts.

Davidson: A Huge Network of Support

Instead of saying that Davidson provides a variety of support, I would rather say that Davidson itself is a huge network of support. At Davidson, support is not something that is deliberately offered, but something that is deeply rooted within our everyday life. You can always find somebody to support you in doing anything at Davidson.


  • February 25, 2022