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International students add diversity on campus

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One hundred and nineteen international students, from 32 countries, are enrolled at Colorado State University-Pueblo this fall, which increases the cultural diversity in the campus community.

International students at CSU-Pueblo from left to right: Hyeongsup Lim, a business major from South Korea; Juhee Park, a nursing major from South Korea; Soondo Hong, a business management major from South Korea; Sinmyeong Lee, a biology major from South Korea; Ayse Canan, a student from Turkey studying industrial and system engineering for her master's degree; and Fengfeng Liu, an accounting major from China. Photo by Ye Ming.

These students are enrolled in various graduate and undergraduate programs, and 11 are enrolled in the English Language Institute at CSU-Pueblo, according to the international student domicile list released by the Center for International Programs.

Among the 32 countries, Germany leads with 21 students, followed by 12 from South Korea, nine from Thailand, eight from China, eight from Turkey and seven from Qatar, according to the domicile list.

There are also several students who came from countries that CSU-Pueblo has not hosted in the last six years, according to the domicile list. These countries are Australia, Guam, Nicaragua, Slovenia, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

International students bring in other cultures and perspectives and it is very healthy to the domestic population, said Joseph Marshall, assistant vice president for enrollment management. It also helps local economy when international students spend money, bringing in business opportunities, he said.

“A growing number of faculty are becoming involved with international students, and are engaged in making international students feel welcomed,” Marshall said.

 The university established the CIP to provide services particularly to international students and promote international education on campus.

Seongho Kim, an exchange student from Kangwon National University, in South Korea, thinks the staff members from CIP have helped him a lot since he came here, he said. He had never experienced an orientation as big as at CSU-Pueblo, in which a lot of essential information was given to assist student’s staying in the U.S., Kim said.

Kim is one of the two Korean students who came here this fall after the exchange program between CSU-Pueblo and his Korean university was established last year. He chose to study here because he had been impressed by the Rocky Mountains since he was young, Kim said, and because of the low crime rate in Pueblo.

Although still experiencing some culture shocks, Kim felt very welcomed and thinks everyone is treated equal at CSU-Pueblo, he said.

The university has worked to build up exchange agreements with several universities from countries including Germany, Italy, Korea and Thailand, according to CSU-Pueblo’s website. Each year, these universities send out several students to study in Pueblo, and CSU-Pueblo sends students to their countries.

Other than exchange programs, many international students found CSU-Pueblo by word-of-mouth.

Ali Almousawi, a freshman from Qatar majoring in civil engineering technology, came this fall with his sister and five other friends from his country.

Almousawi decided to come here because his brother used to study in the U.S. and had told him about Pueblo, he said. He then suggested to his other friends to come here together.

He started traveling with his parents in different countries at a very young age and was able to learn to appreciate other cultures, he said, and although many people at CSU-Pueblo haven’t heard about his country, he is willing to share aspects of his culture with them, he said.