Arturo Ligai ’23 Values the University’s Diverse Courses and Cultures

Arturo Ligai

Arturo Ligai says he was awestruck to receive the Louis and Ida Shlansky Endowed Scholarship.  The scholarship helps him to attend Syracuse University, but he is also moved and inspired by the sheer act of generosity behind it. “I can’t believe people will help a student that they don’t even know,” he says. “Hopefully I can do the same thing for someone someday.”

Ligai was drawn to Syracuse for the wide range of classes and disciplines he can explore as he decides on a major, and for its diverse community. During his first year, he began to learn Korean—a language that is part of his family’s heritage—and took up a new instrument (piano).  His favorite campus getaway is walking through Crouse College, home of the Setnor School of Music, and hearing a mosaic of music coming from the practice rooms. His favorite classes so far have been forensics and Russian politics.

The Russian politics class gave him a new perspective on a country where he spent the first part of his childhood, Ligai says. Although he was born in the United States, his family returned to Russia when he was very young so that his parents could care for his Russian grandfather who had suffered a stroke. When he turned 13, his parents sent him back to the United States to live with his brother and a guardian in New York City, and Ligai had the challenge of learning American English and culture very quickly. That experience set him on a path of learning and exploration that continues to this day. Ligai says he especially enjoys meeting students from many backgrounds and countries at Syracuse University. “All of these different people from different countries and places come to the same place and become friends,” he says. “We are different and yet we have many similarities.”

Having personally experienced language barriers and cultural differences, Ligai says he makes an effort to help students who are new to the country to feel at home. “I try to help people as much as possible,” he says. “It feels good to help people.”