Midwest Meets Mongolia
International student Gundsambuu “Gundee” Bayarsaikhan works on his associate’s degree at Oakton while acclimating himself to Chicago’s “tepid” winters.
“Other people may complain about the weather here, but not me,” says Bayarsaikhan, a native of Ulan Bator, the coldest capital city in the world. Coming from Mongolia has required the Oakton student to adapt to an unfamiliar culture and climate, but Bayarsaikhan seems to take it all in stride.
“My parents, teachers and so many others encouraged me to attend college in the United States because I had attended an English immersion high school and knew the language well,” he explains. “Oakton has been a great place for me. There are many Mongolian students here, and the campus is quite diverse. I feel very welcome.”
Bayarsaikhan, who works in the Learning Center in addition to taking a full load of classes, says the best part of Oakton is the faculty. “My courses are challenging and insightful, and the professors really motivate me to work hard.”
An interest in human nature and advertising has Bayarsaikhan considering a marketing major and a career at an agency – perhaps in the States, but definitely in a large, vibrant city. “I love the energy of urban life, people walking everywhere, something always going on,” he explains. “That’s one of the things I miss most about Ulan Bator. The city shivers in sub-zero temperatures five months a year, yet people fill the streets and cafés, restaurants, and clubs. We don’t let bad weather interrupt our fun.”
Gundsambuu Bayarsaikhan, Student