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University Welcomes International Students

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017 - 10:10 AM Engineering , All News , Arts and Sciences , Law , Business , Pharmacy

“I think the only way to understand your culture is to live here for a year..."


The Western New England University Office for International Students and Scholar Services held a welcome reception on Wednesday, January 25 at 5:00 p.m. in the Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy for all new and returning international students.

Twenty year old Isis Abiguine arrived from the West African nation of Togo, and is majoring in biology. “I plan to earn a medical degree while studying in the United States and then return to my country of Togo to work. I also came here to experience another culture and improve my English.” 

The 2017 spring semester has more than 160 international students, 145 returning and an additional 19 new students in January. The reception affords the students an opportunity to meet with University deans, faculty, staff, and get to know each other.

“The political system in Ecuador is very different from the one in the United States,” explained Linda Mariduena from Guayaquil, Ecuador, who is majoring in political science. “I hope to learn and understand different ways that governments work. I was here for your national elections last fall and it was very interesting.”

“Our international students give us all the opportunity to learn about and celebrate different cultures and traditions,” explained Jeanne Hart-Steffes, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Having an international community on campus helps us in our aspirations as a University to encourage and support global citizenship.”

The international students hail from 31 different countries and are matriculating in all four University colleges and the School of Law. The new international students have arrived from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, China, France, India, and for the first time from Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Sudan.

“I have seen and read about the United States my whole life, and wanted to discover what life in Americaa is really like,” remarked French Business major Marie Debrum. “I think the only way to understand your culture is to live here for a year. This is my second semester here and I have already visited New York, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, and Mexico.”

For more information visit the International Students and Scholar Services at Western New England University.

View more photos of the Welcome Reception.