“SMC is a real magnet for students from all over the world. They all have a story, and interacting with them makes life very… colorful.”
“How did I get to SMC from Bulgaria? How long of a story to you want?” says Radka Varimezova with a chuckle. “The short version is that my parents are both ethnomusicology professors at UCLA. And when they asked me if I wanted to come, I just said ‘Sure.’ ” Then followed Radka’s immersion in ESL classes. “And when I got a little more familiar with English,” she says—in
English—“I decided to come to SMC.” And then things started happening that would turn her life around.
“I’d really started studying Economics and Accounting in Bulgaria, because those are areas where I knew I’d find work.” But a funny thing happened to Radka on her way to an MBA. “SMC actually brought me into a different world because, here, I found that I could do whatever I wanted. I could explore different things. I started taking classes in Chemistry, and I loved it!” she says with real enthusiasm. “Then I thought I’d take a Biology class to see how that would go. And I loved that, too. So now I’m a Biology major, and I want to become a doctor at some point and work at helping people. And I’m already doing that by volunteering at the UCLA hospital.”
Radka says that “traveling and languages may not solve all the problems of the world. But when you learn more about the mentality of people and their cultures, it gives you far better understanding.” And ‘understanding’ is what Radka has found in abundance in SMC’s classrooms. “My two most favorite teachers are Brian Rodas for Math and Kofi Yankey in Philosophy. But all of my professors at SMC are great.”