Internationals reflect on year

Jessica Sewing | Collegio reporter

The school year is winding down and students are longing for summer.
But for many international students, the end of the school year means leaving the United States to travel back home. A total of 469 students from 37 countries, ranging from Bangladesh to Venezuela, have shared their culture and customs with PSU students this year.

Cathy Arcuino associate director of international programs and services at Pittsburg State University, presents Ozark Christian College student Daniel Webster with an award for Outstanding Community Member at the International Graduation Banquet on Thursday, April 26, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Photo by:Kaitlyn Doherty/Collegio

Cathy Arcuino associate director of international programs and services at Pittsburg State University, presents Ozark Christian College student Daniel Webster with an award for Outstanding Community Member at the International Graduation Banquet on Thursday, April 26, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Photo by:Kaitlyn Doherty/Collegio


For some international students, like Hana Park, Pittsburg wasn’t exactly what she expected. Park says she initially thought she was going to be studying in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“I actually thought I was going to Pittsburgh University in Pennsylvania because I didn’t’ really know that there was a Pittsburg in Kansas,” said Park, senior in broadcasting. “I figured out when I had to book the flight because it said Joplin, Missouri Airport.”
Unlike Park, Kyunga Woo says she wanted to come to a small rural area.
“Since I am from a big city, Seoul, I wanted to experience another lifestyle,” said Woo, senior in business. “I had big expectations about my English skills, especially speaking. I dreamt about experiencing true American culture and lifestyles.”
Laurie Frias says she also wanted to experience American culture. Frias says she wanted to experience an American college and its lifestyle.
“I was expecting the school to look like they are in all the American TV shows we see back in France, with all the sororities and fraternities,” said Frias, junior in marketing management.
Migwan Sim says she wanted to come to PSU because she is interested in studying abroad, learning other languages and experiencing other cultures.
“I was expecting to meet lots of friends with various backgrounds and learn different languages, especially English,” said Sim, junior in management.
During the breaks from school, some of the students made it a point to travel around the country. Park says she took a trip almost every month last semester.
“We took a road trip with a bunch of exchange students and we got to see more of America,” Park said. “We used to always be excited about going away once a month at least.”
Like Park, Frias says she wants to see more of the country before returning home to France. Frias says she is going to Texas, New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Sandy Gu says what she will miss most is the people at PSU. Gu says that Americans are pretty easy to talk to, which she says is different from her home country.
“Knowing the fact that I might not ever see some of these friends again makes me sad,” said Gu, senior in English. “I am probably going to miss Americans’ friendliness.”
Frias agrees with Gu and says she’s met wonderful people here. Frias says discovering so many cultures and meeting people from all over the world was definitely her favorite part.
“We all came here without knowing anyone and without having our family with us,” Frias said. “In a way, we created our own little international family here at Pitt and that was one of the best experiences in my life.”

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