By: Salina Madrid
Exchange students from all over the world are taking in the most of their experience here at New Mexico State University.
“I love the Freedom here and I love the laws,” said Nawaf Almajed, a senior at NMSU from Kuwait. “The American dream to me, being a foreigner, is being able to be free.”
Making study abroad apart of education allows students to gain skills that will help benefit their future.
“The primary focus of an exchange is the academic side of it,” said Kari Rankin, an international education advisor at NMSU. “But they are allowed to join any student organization, allowed to take any classes they want, as long as the have the pre-requisites for them. They also live on campus and are able to get that campus life experience.”
Learning how to interact with people from different countries and cultures is useful for college students.
It allows them to become more diverse in various areas.
“The Asian schools seem to be a lot more difficult,” said Rankin, “So when the Korean students come here, it is like a break for them from intense studying. Being here is a chance for them to be involved in more social activities.”
Research shows that experience in other countries makes people more creative, flexible, and complex thinkers.
NMSU last spring had 49 exchange students; last fall had 66 and currently has 36 attending the university.
“They love it here. It’s not uncommon for them to come back for grad school. We have a few that love it so much that they withdraw from their home university and come here,” said Rankin.
NMSU’s goal is to provide a unique, memorable, life changing experience to foreign exchange students.
Many people describe the United States as the land of opportunity and the American dream.
For exchange student Nawaf Almajed, it is just that.
“The American Dream to me, being a foreigner, is being able to be free,” said Almajed.
He is from Kuwait, and came to the United States when he started college and hasn’t turned back since.
Almajed is graduating in May and is grateful he was able to be here, in America.
“I can be whatever I want to be in America, when over there I can’t. The people over there expect you to be like them,” said Almajed.
Last year, 12 students at New Mexico State University received a total of 38,000 dollars in scholarships to study abroad for the summer and fall.
In addition to that, NMSU has been ranked a top 10 American University for the number of recipients who receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers grants for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to do academic studies or internships abroad.
The university strongly encourages students to grasp this experience.
For more information on Study Abroad at NMSU, go to www.studyabroad.nmsu.edu