International Students: Bringing Diversity to Snow College

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Around the world, there are over 14,500 accredited colleges and Universities. Here at Snow College, over 5,000 students from 35 countries have chosen to study in Ephraim.

From Nigeria to Japan, there are students from every continent besides Antarctica attending Snow College. Each student has a story of where they come from and a dream that they’re working toward.

One example of a student with a dream is international student, Maggie Lai. Maggie was born in the city of Shenzhen, China. Growing up, Maggie had always wanted to go into graphic design, but saw limited opportunity in such a competitive community. With the help of her parents, Maggie moved to the United States in her senior year of high school as a foreign exchange student at North Sanpete high school in Mount Pleasant, Utah.

This was quite a culture shock to Maggie. She said, “I had been to the country before, like farms and mountains, but I had never lived there. People at the school had never had a foreign exchange student come to their school. I loved high school, though. I made a lot of friends and was part of lots of sports. I think I like College even more, though. I now have lots of friends from other countries. We do a lot of fun things together.”

Maggie is now preparing to go into graphic design. In such a competitive work field, Maggie works hard to get good grades and prepare for the career. Maggie’s vision has expanded by moving here. When asked how her life experiences from China impacted her life today she responded, “So I would say it impacted me to work harder. Life in China sometimes you don’t get lots of chances to do what you want. I have big chances now.”

Being an international student isn’t easy, students feel it takes hard work and dedication. Amy Ha comes from the highland city of Quảng Trị, Vietnam. Coming to America was a big change for Amy, she said “I would say it’s cultural shock. Like the lifestyle, food, school, the way people dress, make friends, talk and think, language, streets, are all different.”

Despite the difference, Amy can often be seen smiling and meeting new people here on campus. The Snow College experience is important to Amy. When asked what sacrifices she made to come here, she said, “I had to go far away from home. My family had to work extra hard to make sure I’m financially supported. It was really hard but I believe it’s worth it and hard work here pays off all those difficulties. Life changing moments are also a part of it. And smiling helps!”

Even though staying on top of classes in an unfamiliar nation takes hard work and determination, international students find many reasons to smile. Tazoe Seiya from Kobe, Japan said, “People, because their kind and friendly. I love the people here. Like people are like closed off in Japan, but I really love here. I like to do activities with friends here too, like we all the international students are going to Arches over Fall Break.”

The Center for Global Engagement aims to give students a high-quality experience in education from going on outdoor adventures to supplying tutoring for students, the center has been known to be called a “home away from home”. Speaking of the Center for Global Engagement, Alexandra Brtsh from Germany said “I really like the help I get, they help set us up with the best classes and always make it fun!”

Diversity gives students an enhanced education experience. Student, Hayden Mecham from Nephi, Utah said, “When you go to school you don’t expect the same background on which you grew up in. You expect a wide view of them, a new light on beliefs and knowledge basis and reasons behind those. International students have a different life style, a different background and new perspective that people rarely get to witness.  It helps us learn a new perspective of life, culture, art, and general education. And because of this it has been positive. A yard that only has grass is stale and boring and only has one shade, but a yard with a garden, flowers, trees, rocks, and grass is something to observe and love.”

Although the backstory of each Snow College student is different, this school brings them together as fellow Badgers.

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