Students walk past the Shalala Student Center on the first day of the fall semester. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

By Ashley A. Williams

Students walk past the Shalala Student Center on the first day of the fall semester. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

Back on campus

By Ashley A. Williams
New and returning students share some of their expectations for the semester on the first day of classes.

All University of Miami students, faculty and staff have made their way back to campus as undergraduate classes for the fall 2019 semester began Monday.

Last week, more than 2,800 new students arrived to the University. The ’Canes student body is a diverse academic community with representation from across the nation and around the world—the incoming class alone represents all 50 states and 57 countries. Each student brings their own unique set of passions and interests to the campus.

A new academic year “is a time filled with promise and expectation, guided by the goals that inspire us, the motivation from those already achieved, and the lessons learned along the way,” University President Julio Frenk wrote in a message to all students, faculty and staff.

With classes now in session, News@TheU caught up with some students on the Coral Gables campus to learn what they are most looking forward to this semester:   

Rasul Rahman on the first day of classes.

Rasul Rahman is a first-year student majoring in biomedical engineering. A Chicago native, he is most looking forward to starting strong as a student. “I’m most looking forward to the new opportunities that the campus has to offer and getting to be a part of the UM community. I have a lot to juggle but I think that I can manage it all because of the tools and resources to manage. I’m a little worried about classes because I want to make sure that I have a really good GPA so that I can earn a summer internship. I just want to start off strong. I’m looking forward to getting to know my professors and how they teach, too.”

 Julia Yianacopolus on the first day of classes.Julia Yianacopolus, from Boston, is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry. “I found ’Cane Kickoff events to be fun and exciting. I’m most looking forward to receiving a good education and getting to know new people. I am also looking forward to my lab courses this semester,” she said.

 Vince Trombino on the first day of clases.Vince Trombino, a Fort Lauderdale native majoring in economics, is most looking forward to diving into his core curriculum classes this semester. “I’m real excited about catching up with my friends, and as a health sector management minor I’m taking this health population course. I think that’s going to be real interesting to learn about how certain diseases affect certain populations.”


Charlotte Keihn from Panama City, Florida is a sophomore majoring in microbiology and immunology. SheCharlotte Kiehn on the first day of classes. said she can’t wait to attend her first football game as a ’Cane.  

“I’m looking forward to going to all the football games. I’m in the marching band so I’ll be traveling to the game this weekend against the Gators. It’s going to be an exciting year. I’m excited to get started with my classes, I’m taking a lot of labs this semester. I’m just ready to get going. I want to be an optometrist one day!”

Erika on the first day of classes.Erika Orellana, a first-year architecture student from New Jersey, shared: “I’m looking forward to taking my major courses. I’m actually working on my first assignment now for my Studio course. This semester, I’m looking forward to maintaining balance with my social life and school – making sure that I’m up to par with all my goals. I want to improve on my drawing skills, I want to improve the way that I see the way buildings are made. I just want to become fully immersed in structures and how everything collaborates.”

Nicholas Calle on the first day of classes.

Nicholas Calle, a first-year student majoring in physics, is “hyped” to be a ’Cane.

“I’m kind of excited for my classes. I’m very interested in how it’s going to go. I’ve lived in Miami so coming to UM was very important to me. I’m doing marching band this semester so I’m looking forward to that. I play the horn and have never been in a marching band before.”

Photos: Jenny Hudak/University of Miami