Jasmin Martins Abade: The Life & Accomplishments Of An International Student

International student & business administration major Jasmin Martins Abade has accomplished what most students would deem impossible, but what she has proved during her two years at Suffolk is that the sky’s the limit.


Jasmin Martins Abade

Jasmin Martins Abade shows off her medals for being awarded the The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence on Apr. 26 in Saratoga Springs. She, along with seven other Suffolk students, were recognized for their integration of academic excellence, leadership, and campus involvement.

Allison Luna, Editor in Chief

Jasmine Martins Abade, 22 has surely left her mark at Suffolk County Community College. Since the beginning of her academic journey, she’s been heavily involved with many extracurricular activities on campus such as being the president of  Phi Theta Kappa’s New York Region, secretary for the Business and Accounting Club, and becoming Class of 2022’s student of the year. Outside of school, she is surely living her best life by soaking in the bright sun and taking it one day at a time. 

She was born and raised in Kempten, Germany by her loving parents that immigrated from Portugal in the 1970s. “When I grew up, my parents always raised me to always be kind to everyone, respectful, and open-minded,” said Martins Abade as she spoke about the advice her parents had shared with her when it came to interacting with the world around her. “Their work ethic is something I always carry with me and inspires me.” Spending the majority of her youth and teenage years in her home country, she found a love for languages and by hanging out with her friends that came from different parts of Europe, she then found the love of exploring cultures beyond her own.

While life on the Island seems pretty typical and underwhelming for the average Long Islander, for Martins Abade, it was a completely different world. She had experienced major culture shock once she began adapting to the new lifestyle in the United States. 

“I would say that the people are the biggest difference because, in Germany, people are a lot more reserved there, they aren’t as outgoing and as open-minded as we are here,” she said.

Whenever she catches herself walking around the city, she’s often approached and complimented for the way she dresses as well as how she looks and if she were to sit down with someone and have a conversation about something, they’re more than happy to engage and connect with her whereas back home, actions like these would barely happen. “Here in the United States, people are a lot more open which is what I really love.”

However, nothing will ever beat living in the true and paradisiacal home, which is what Martins Abade holds true to her heart as she often experiences homesickness. “I only realized how beautiful my hometown is after I came here,” she said. “Because sometimes you have to leave stuff in order to realize something and that’s obviously what happened to me.” Aside from missing home, she missed her mom’s cooking and the pretzels with sausages for breakfast. “If you’re vegetarian or vegan, this might sound disgusting but I grew up with that and it is so good!”

Shifting to her first couple of days at Suffolk, she opened up about she experienced major culture shock because she found it quite difficult to engage with the student body. “People seemed really uninterested like ‘I’m just coming to class and I just want to go home” whereas compared to Germany, “it’s not really like that” and the opportunities are more limited. She became inspired by how American students are so involved with doing good for the community and want to express themselves a lot more. 

Especially during the Spring 2020 Club Fair is when she was looking around for clubs to join.  “I saw people were so invested with research projects and community service and their dedication got me so interested,  This prompted her to take that leap of faith and become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She then got a hold of the community service club over a virtual meeting which then made her want to part take in more things for school. 

“I felt like ‘I want to do this or ‘I want to do that,” almost like a little kid in the candy store!” After this, it was full speed for her as she started to get more involved with other clubs and would soon become recognized as one of the most dedicated and hardworking students on the Ammerman Campus. “One thing I love about Jasmin is her commitment to excellence,” said Tyler Lewis, 23, of Sayville, who happens to be Martins Abade’s boyfriend of over 3 and half years. 

Although things seemed to go in the right direction for her, academically and personally with a loving and supportive boyfriend and amazing friends, things took a shift for the worst as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world which caused international students, like Martins Abade, to return home to their families. “When it was time for her to go back home to Germany, it was very difficult see you later,” said Lewis, a former St. Joseph’s University student.  Both parties, sadly, needed to adapt to a new normal of being countries apart.

For her, this became challenging too because she was still a student at Suffolk and had to deal with attending lectures with a six-hour difference. “It sucked because I still wanted to do good in school and be a part of PTK and the Community Service Club but it was just hard to maintain a routine.” Ultimately, she made the courageous decision to move back to America after a long 5 months. Though this was not an easy choice to make because she would have been limiting herself from spending time with her loved ones back in Germany to pursue her degree. “Each and every day that she has been back here, she has worked from early in the morning to late at night to set herself up for maximum success,” said Lewis, proudly.

Now with graduation drawing close, Martins Abade has been keeping herself immersed with the end of the semester events and finals but has also been receiving many awards and scholarships, especially for the highest honor in New York state, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award. “Being recognized and receiving prestigious awards like that definitely touched my heart,” she said. “It keeps me motivated to always reach for the stars and always do my best, no matter what.”

It keeps me motivated to always reach for the stars and always do my best, no matter what

— Jasmin Martins Abade

For the next chapter in her life, Jasmin Martins Abade has proudly been accepted, full ride, to St. John’s University and will be there to complete her business administration degree for the next couple of years. Walking away from her second home, she’s proud to have left an outstanding impact on Suffolk and is hopeful that sharing her story will inspire even more students in the future. “Keep on putting yourself out there and keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone because only good things will happen outside of your comfort zone.”