The United States hosts the greatest number of international students in the world. As a regional university of choice, Rogers State University cultivates a vibrant campus culture, quality education, unique curriculum, and abundant opportunities for these students to embrace RSU as their second home.
Adapting to a new place, experiencing a new culture, and understanding a new language can be daunting for international students, but they are an integral part of making RSU a special place to learn, live and grow as an individual.
“RSU helped me step out of my comfort zone. Flying from Korea was not easy, but the sweethearts of RSU made it easy for me,” Eunji Yoon, medical/molecular biology junior from South Korea, said.
November 17 celebrates International Student Day, acknowledging diversity at colleges and universities across the globe. RSU has more than 66 international students, half of those being athletes. Anxious hearts are quelled as this group of students settle in, adjust to their new culture and find their community of friends, forming long-term bonds that no border can separate.
“Being an international student at RSU has been a blessed adventure. I've experienced glorious days in America. The community of students at RSU is just phenomenal. The athletic and academic programs are vast, and the recruitment process is very professional. It's a great place for anyone with ambition,” Yan Mendez-Monjardim, a studio art junior from Portugal, said.
Claremore’s small-town life provides RSU’s international students a strong sense of community, and in turn, international students broaden the horizons of American students who have never left the country.
“International students bring unique perspectives to the university that enhance the education of all students,” RSU President Dr. Larry Rice said. “Students from around the world contribute to America’s scientific and technical research and bring international perspectives into U.S. classrooms.”
Recent graduate Ifunanya Nwokolo (’21) left Nigeria to study nursing and psychology. As a young girl, she watched the Nigerian nurses care for her sick aunt. They taught her to take vital signs, bathe her, empty and clean her catheter. Witnessing the compassionate care of the nurses drew her to love the profession even more.
“I look forward to becoming a nurse – to give back to humanity, my country, and society at large. It is important for us to encourage one another not to give up on our dreams,” Nwokolo said.
In the classroom, Nwokolo’s professors say her desire to learn, grow and achieve is a testament to the courage and love she shares with others.
“Ifunanya's work ethic is unparalleled. She is very goal oriented, with her goal being not only to better herself but also the lives of those around her,” Dr. Sonya Munsell, assistant professor of psychology and sociology, said.
In February, RSU will celebrate its international student population with a flag ceremony. More than 50 students across 27 countries will be represented. Students will dress in their country’s traditional wardrobe as they are honored and thanked for their commitment to education in a place so far from home.
“Together, we can support our international students by acknowledging their cultures, celebrating their successes and help make the transition to RSU inviting and supportive,” Kaitlin Tyrell, international student coordinator, said.
RSU delivers relevant degree programs that align with workforce needs in Northeastern Oklahoma. Through curricular and co-curricular offerings, RSU promotes and embraces cultural diversity and global awareness.
“RSU has given me so many incredible opportunities and experiences, and I am forever grateful. A home-away from home, RSU has provided me with relationships that will last a lifetime,” Maria Mota, nursing sophomore from Brazil, said.
For more information about RSU’s internal student programs, visit www.rsu.edu/international.