Joey Harvey '25

Meet Joey Harvey!

As mentioned, Joey loves creating original music and is excited to share a new work that celebrates his Egyptian home culture. He states that " although this piece does not, at all, accurately depict Egyptian pop culture, old Middle Eastern music (also called Oriental music) is often still celebrated in its purest form. In fact, it is even incorporated in mainstream popular musical genres back home. Middle Eastern instruments (Oud, Tabla/ Darbuka, Ney) are integrated in a multitude of musical contexts, including worship. Unfortunately, I do not have any Middle Eastern instruments on hand, but I used digital sounds in an attempt to demonstrate them to you.”  Enjoy Joey's latest piece here!

Joey Harvey HeadshotWhat are you studying at Wheaton College?
Major: Applied Health Science
Minor: Music
Certificate: Pre-Health

What countries/cultures are a part of your story?
I take pride in being Egyptian! Christians in an Arab country like Egypt are inevitably influenced by the predominant Muslim culture, and I was not aware of the subtle yet significant differences between Christians in different countries until I moved to the US.

How have your experiences as a TCK impacted your life at Wheaton?
Honestly, I experienced severe culture shock. Coming from an Arabic speaking country, I had only truly experienced Middle Eastern/ North African culture. I was put in a position of discomfort, having to gradually adapt to the social dynamics and expectations of American culture. I was flustered, but I was shown appreciation and curiosity from many people regarding my experiences. I was comforted by this hospitable approach because I thought I had to neglect my cultural background to adopt these cultural expectations, but that was not true; I was instead encouraged to integrate it.

Tell us about a joy and challenge you’ve experienced during your time at Wheaton as an International Student.
I have enjoyed learning more about other cultures. In fact, I still find great pleasure in learning more about values and traditions around the world through friends and faculty.
A challenge I have encountered during my time at Wheaton was learning and acknowledging the differences in social standards and norms; humor, etiquette, and customs acceptable in the US vary greatly from those in Egypt. Because of this, I found myself accidentally offending others (or feeling offended) because I did not know what was considered acceptable here.

What are some ways you’ve gotten involved on campus?
I play drums in a chapel band (joined this past academic year), and I am on Storytelling Project this year.

What have been some of your favorite classes so far?
The class I have loved the most has to be Anatomy and Physiology. I also enjoyed Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Old Testament Literature and Interpretation, and Music Theory.

What have been some of your favorite Wheaton experiences so far?
My freshman year, my friend Youssef and I wrote a song, collaborated with Zoe’s Feet (campus dance ministry), and played it in the talent show. People loved it, which made it all the more fun and worthwhile!

What American dish have you enjoyed the most?
The Raising Canes tenders are exquisite, especially if you switch out the coleslaw for an extra slice of bread (game changer).

What advice would you give to incoming International Students?
Feeling out of place is completely normal when trying to adapt to a different culture. Know that there are offices (ISP, OMD) dedicated to help guide you through the cultural shift. It is also a safe environment here to learn and make mistakes, so there is no need to worry. Do not shy away from American culture because it is unfamiliar, but let the discomfort motivate you to seek understanding, and acknowledge the value of your own cultural values and experiences while doing so.