image title
August 16, 2022

Szymon Warmula, who comes to ASU from Poland, eager to start aviation school

Editor's note: ASU News is highlighting some of its notable incoming students for fall 2022.

Szymon Warmula can’t wait to begin his education at Arizona State University.

That excitement is tinged with a bit of anxiety, however.

Warmula, who is from Poland, has never been to the United States, so starting a new adventure at ASU – where he’ll major in aeronautical management technology – is a bit overwhelming.

“You know, I’m super excited, but at the same time, there’s all these things I have to take care of,” Warmula said. “I have a bunch of documents on my desk right now. There’s a lot to do. Like I need to submit my fingerprints. I’m not able to do this in Poland.

“I have to buy supplies in Arizona because logistically I can’t take things like bedsheets and fill up half my luggage space. So I have to figure out these difficulties, but, yeah, I’m optimistic. It’s a challenge and I’m a little nervous about it, but I think somehow it’s all going to fall in the right place, with my effort and the help of others.”

ASU News talked to Warmula, who will be studying at the Polytechnic campus, about his hopes and plans.

Question: What made you choose ASU?

Answer: My goal was always to become a pilot and study at a university, so I just started exploring different options around the world, to be honest. I noticed how technologically advanced ASU is with the flight simulators and the airport (Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport). So it really made an impression on me, and it’s also perfect weather for flight training in Arizona. That’s always a good thing. There’s not going to be many weather delays. Also, with Poland aviation programs, you always have to go 1 1/2 or two years without flight training. At ASU, you begin flight training your first semester. That was very appealing to me as well.

Q: What are you most excited to experience you first semester?

A: There’s a few things, actually. The most important one is flight training. It’s been my dream for four years to experience that. But I’m also really excited about activities that are typical to American college but are not available anywhere in Europe. I’m super excited about attending the football game at (Sun Devil Stadium). It’s unreal that you can have 60,000 or so people going to a game of college football. I’m also excited about meeting new people from different backgrounds. That diversity is super fun to explore.

Q: What do you like to brag to your friends about ASU?

A: As I said, one of things is going to be college sports, the whole atmosphere, but also really the level of education and the quality of facilities. In most of Europe, higher education is free, but the experience is not as interesting; it’s not as revolutionary or well-developed. For me, to have a real jet simulator on the college level, it’s not something you would really experience in Europe. Also, the diversity of the people. Here in Poland, you mostly have Polish people. There are some foreigners, but not many. I believe that at ASU Poly, it’s 20% to 30% foreigners. That’s huge for me.

Q: What talents and skills do you bring to the ASU community?

A: Leadership would be one. I’ve played sports basically my entire life, and I’ve been fortunate to be a member of team council and a team captain at soccer. I’m a very active person in terms of fitness, so I’m somewhat advanced in body building. For the last few months, I’ve been helping my friends and giving them advice. In terms of training, I really enjoy that, and I hope I can continue that to some degree. I also think I’m very good at creating strong, meaningful connections.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: Obviously graduate with the best possible outcome, but not only graduate, but do it in a way that is kind of more organized than I used to do before. I’ve had excellent academic scores, but I always wasn’t … I don’t know if lazy is a good word, but I wasn’t organized. I want to manage my time more responsibly during college so I can achieve my ambitions in aviation. Hopefully, I can gain my instructor certificate during college so I can teach others how to fly. That would be an amazing experience.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: I actually used to have a YouTube channel. I mean, I still have it. I didn’t cancel it. I just don’t post my videos on there or anything. I had this big idea when I was young, like 12 years old, that I would become a famous YouTuber just recording myself playing video games on PlayStation. I was really a bad YouTuber to be honest, but it was a really fun experience and, yeah, my friends got a lot of laughs out of it looking bad.

Q: If someone gave your $40 million to solve one problem in the world, what would you choose?

A: Climate change. I think this type of money would help me to create some energy source that could help the climate in some way. I care deeply about the rapid deforestation that’s going on in the Amazon and other lands.

Scott Bordow

Reporter , ASU News

image title

ASU Online program in Mandarin produces 1st graduates

First cohort graduates from ASU Online Mandarin-language degree program.
August 16, 2022

4 master's degrees offered to students in China through Cintana partnership

Arizona State University offers four online master’s degree programs taught in Mandarin to students in China, and the initiative has just produced its first group of graduates. Thirteen Sun Devils graduated with master's degrees in applied leadership and management in a virtual ceremony in July.

More than a thousand students are enrolled in the four programs, called ASU ZaiXian, which was launched in fall 2020 – the first full degree programs offered in a language other than English. Hundreds are expected to graduate from ASU ZaiXian this fall. "ZaiXian" means "online" in Mandarin Chinese.

The program is part of ASU’s partnership with Cintana Education, an initiative that harnesses the quality of ASU’s academic programs for international students.

The content of ASU’s degree programs was professionally translated and then reviewed by Mandarin-speaking instructional designers and taught by Mandarin-speaking ASU faculty, according to Xiaojing "Icy" Cao, program manager at EdPlus, the ASU unit that houses ASU Online. Other support services, such as success coaches, also are offered in Mandarin.

“The purpose of the program is to achieve the objective of the ASU charter that we’re so proud of about inclusion and access on a global scale,” she said.

“We’re giving access to students in China by translating some of our online programs to remove the language barrier.”

Besides translation, the process of creating degree programs for students in China involved making sure the content was culturally relevant – as well as sidestepping some glitches.

“Google is not available in China,” Cao said.

“A lot of times we say, ‘Well just use a different browser.’ But one time the students were asked to buy a package from the bookstore, but when they were about to pay, the little thing popped up where you have to click the picture to prove that you’re a human. But our students couldn’t use that because it’s owned by Google.

“We realized we had to be creative to find a way for our students.”

The bookstore was able to work with the students directly to bypass the CAPTCHA image for the students in China.

The master’s degree in applied leadership and management is offered through the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU. The other three degrees offered in Mandarin are a Master of Science in psychology, Master of Arts in education and Master of Engineering in computing and technology.

The 13 students who just graduated were already working when they began the program. Their careers include consulting, finance, technology and small business ownership, Cao said.

“This program is very student-centric,” she said.

“We meet the students where they are, not just with language but with their backgrounds as well.”

Top image courtesy iStock

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU News