WU welcomes new international students

Anna Ciummo

Washburn, a long-time advocate for the education of international students, has recently welcomed about 40 new students from around the world to campus.

The students arrived last week and they come from about 10 different countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, South Korea, Austria and Nepal.

Heidi Staerkel, coordinator for Washburn’s International Student Services, has met with the students already and has brought them through their week-long orientation.

It really is exciting to see these new students coming to campus,” Staerkel said. “They’ve commented on how friendly and welcoming the campus is, and even though they’ve only been here for a week, they already feel comfortable. It’s exciting to see students settling in quickly.”

Staerkel says that Washburn has been welcoming students from abroad for decades.

They have come to campus in order to study a large variety of fields, but the most predominant degree chosen by these new students this semester is business.

I have so much admiration and respect for the students that are coming here for their degree,” Staerkel said. “There are a lot of factors that students have to adjust to in order to be successful.”

Lauren Barr, a sophomore looking toward a degree in Japanese, works with the International House and was able to meet the students during their orientation. She also works as an English tutor.

It is good for the Washburn students to see people from other cultures,” Barr said. “Many don’t know a whole lot about the world, other than what they’ve learned in school. It’s a way to bring other cultures to us.”

Barr also hopes that having new international students on campus will encourage local students to study abroad.

It gives people a more positive feeling about other cultures,” Barr said.

Both Staerkel and Barr agree that having these new students will help diversify the campus surroundings, and give other students a more accurate glimpse into the world of someone much different.

Once we have that face-to-face contact and develop a relationship [with these students], you see things through different eyes,” Staerkel said. “We don’t always have the full picture of what’s happening.

The students have just recently completed their orientation and have begun to settle in to their new home.

It really brings the world to our campus,” Staerkel said.