Preparing yourself for the transition into a new school is hard enough as it is, but could you imagine doing it twice? This is the experience every transfer student has gone through; hoping the second time around will be different. Lucky enough for me it was different in the best possible way. I transferred to SJU my sophomore year from Northampton Community College. I had never lived on a college campus and knew few people coming in. I didn’t know what to expect; I was very anxious and was afraid to start all overcristina3 again. Despite feeling like a freshman all over again, my experience transferring to SJU was surprisingly smooth!

I chose Saint Joseph’s for a variety of reasons, with the hope of finishing my degree at this school. I started out as an International Business major and was looking for a competitive business school with a strong IB program. I realized quickly that all of the big schools I looked at were not transfer friendly. I wanted a school where I wouldn’t get cristina5lost in the numbers, one where I would be able to connect with my professors and classmates. SJU was the perfect size school that cared about student success and how transfers adjusted to campus life. I was placed in an all-girls transfer house on campus. Being with girls in the same situation as me made the transition 100 times easier. It was also an awesome experience to live in a house instead of a regular dorm. I am also close to home and near a beautiful city with lots to do on the weekends!

I adjusted very well to life on Hawk Hill after I transferred, thanks to the help of students and faculty who cared about my success. Once I committed to SJU, the Advising Center created a schedule for me that kept me on track for the next three years. The advising center was always flexible and willing to work with my transfer credits. Before classes started, I attended a transfer orientation that helped me find my classes and informed me about how to get involved with all Saint Joe’s has to offer. This orientation also helped me meet new people who are now really good friends. My professors always stressed the importance of office hours and were always there when I needed some extra help. The community at SJU also made the transition better by being friendly and accepting.

One of the first events the SJU campus hosts each fall is the Activities Fair, which helped me get involved with various clubs and cristina2organizations around campus. Getting involved was a major step in making Hawk Hill not just a school, but a home.  Since being enrolled at Saint Joe’s (over a year ago now!), I’ve gone beyond the classroom by getting involved in the International Business Society, the Student Alumni Association, becoming a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma, volunteering to go on APEX, and studying abroad! IBS (International Business Society) has helped me meet people with similar interests in the economic, political, and social effect of business abroad. The Student Alumni Association is a great organization that fundraises for the school and is a great networking tool. By becoming a member of Greek Life, I have been involved in so many on-campus events such as Community Day and Relay for Life. The Appalachian Experience opened my eyes to the different needs of those living in the Appalachian region. Studying abroad, however, was by far the most rewarding experience I’ve had. I traveled to Florence, Italy this past summer on a study tour. Being able to take a class abroad and immerse myself in a different culture was such a rewarding experience. Even as a transfer student I was able to work with the Center of International Programs at SJU to figure out a study abroad option! Studying abroad was one of the best opportunities I received here at Saint Joe’s and one I will never forget.

As a junior now at SJU, I plan to apply to internships with the help of my advisors and the Career Development Center. I’ve even found room in my credits to double major in Marketing as well as IB.  I am always looking for new ways to get involved and am interested in new organizations that create new opportunities here at SJU. I hope to pursue leadership positions in the organizations I’m currently in and of course enjoy my last two years here on Hawk Hill!


Cristina Villarreal is a junior from Whitehall, PA. She is currently double majoring in Marketing and International Business here at SJU. Cristina transferred to SJU her sophomore year and she could not be happier on Hawk Hill! She is a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma, a member of the Student Alumni Association, and the International Business Society.  She has a passion for travel and will jump on any opportunity to experience something new!