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Internet browsing helps international student discover his major

Kyle Kaiwusaier
Ainiwaer Kaiwusaier receives his white coat for his work in the medical laboratory science major.

While surfing the internet during winter break, Ainiwaer Kaiwusaier happened to find his major.

“There was this one winter break where I was on the computer and for some reason I was on the SDSU website,” Kaiwusaier said. “Then I saw this major [medical laboratory science] and I had never heard of this major before. When I looked at it, I felt that it was a way better fit for me and seemed more interesting.

“I clicked on the link, looked at the program’s page, looked at what one could do for a profession, went to YouTube and watched videos about it … it was just perfect for me.”

At the time, Kaiwusaier was a prenursing student. Despite wanting to work in health care, he didn’t feel that nursing was the right fit for him.

As it turned out, medical laboratory science was a perfect fit.

“I love looking at things under the microscope and figuring things out,” said Kaiwusaier, a native of Urumqi, China.

Through his time at SDSU, Kaiwusaier said that his greatest challenge has been lab work. While he just finished a semester with 18 hours of lab work in addition to classes each week, Kaiwusaier still enjoyed it.

“You get a specimen like blood or a tissue sample, you just do a lot of exams on it,” Kaiwusaier said. “Based on the results, you help the physician decide what disease it might be.”

This semester, he has a clinical internship or rotation with Avera Health in Sioux Falls. He will take the board exam in June to become a certified medical/clinical laboratory scientist.

Kaiwusaier came to the United States as an exchange student, living with a host family and studying at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls.

“The first year was really hard for me because I was only 16 years old and I had never lived on my own before,” Kaiwusaier said. “My host family was really great and they helped me out with everything.”

Kaiwusaier said that Brookings is a welcoming place, especially to international students.

“I was really shy and had culture shock when I came here … most people don’t care if you can’t speak perfect English,” Kaiwusaier said. “Try different things; they will make your experience much better, but also try hard in school. That’s why we are here.”