What inspired you to work in this field? I’ve always had a curiosity and love for other cultures, and the more I worked with international students, the more I fell in love with helping them adjust and adapt to life in the U.S. They are so far from home and away from everything that is familiar to them, so I am super passionate about helping set them up to succeed here.
What are the challenges you've faced? Some of the biggest challenges have been getting scholarships to offset the cost for international students, but we have made huge strides. We now offer automatic scholarships to international students who qualify, so it’s great to be able to remove some of the barriers for them.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? In the future I hope to serve even more international students on our campus and to establish an international alumni network.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? Find a program and a school that is a right fit for you academically, financially and socially. It is important to have a supportive network between the staff, the other students, and the community in which a college or university is housed. Be sure to attend orientation so you can be set up for success. Get involved and if possible, join a university that partners with local families so you can have that family connection and someone to provide additional support. This is something we are proud of at Missouri Southern State University. We have a huge network of friendship families and conversation partners, if students choose to sign up for one.