NSU welcomes new students from around the world


Leah Jackson

For the Fall 2022 semester, Northwestern State University welcomed a total of 135 students from other nations.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana can be seen as small compared to other colleges. However, its reach spans the globe.
For the Fall 2022 semester, Northwestern State University welcomed a total of 135 students from other nations. 122 come from partner universities around the world and from the International Student Exchange Program according to Telba Espinoza-Contreras, director of the International Student Resource Center.
“This is the largest and most diverse group of international students we’ve ever had studying at Northwestern State University,” NSU President, Marcus Jones, said.
NSU opens its doors to students from Jamaica, Haiti, Korea, Japan, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Mexico, France, Colombia and other nations. Many of these students came for the opportunity to further their education both in an academic and personal sense.
Vicente Cuevas, a computer information systems freshman, came here after speaking to President Jones when he visited his college in Mexico.
“An opportunity like this opens a lot of doors for me back in Mexico for my career,” Cuevas said.
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, having people who study abroad and can speak multiple languages has been considered an invaluable skill in any industry.
“We wanted to learn a different way of studying. In France, it is very different. Teachers are closer here and smaller,” Shona Mottier, a freshman communication major and international student from France, said. “I wanted to go abroad to change my major. In France it wasn’t possible.”
Yume Aoki, an English freshman and exchange student from Japan, said that coming to America was perfect for their career.
“I want to learn how to speak English more fluently and work all over the world. I wanted to experience other cultures, so I picked Northwestern because it was more rural. Northwestern was also one of the few schools that offered a year abroad,” Yume said.
Among all the international students there was a sense of culture shock in one way or another. Students like Shona Mottier and Hugo Carmignani were surprised by cars and social programs, or lack thereof, in America.
“At the beginning, the cars, I was surprised by that. I live in Paris, we have a lot of public transportation, and we walk a lot,” Mottier said. “Another thing, most people have scholarships, I’m only expected to pay 150 euros for college. The government helped me with paid housing, school, and everything. Even if you were poor in France, you could still go to college.”
150 Euros is equal to 149$ in American currency.
How welcoming both the weather and people have been to them at Northwestern has been a common shock to the new international students.
“The first thing I realized here was, ‘it should be hotter in Mexico than here.’ Here it is hotter,” Cuevas said.
Cuevas explained that where they are from, Veracruz, the average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius, 71.6 in Fahrenheit. Another surprise was not using Celsius to measure temperature.
“The culture shock for me has been how people are so nice to us. In Japan, people are a lot shyer,” Aoki said.
Both Mottier and Carmignani expressed similar feelings, Mottier explaining that in Paris people act differently as well and that people here are more open and kinder.
For more information on the International Student Resource Center and Study Abroad, visit https://www.nsula.edu/international/.