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Monday December 18th 2017

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The world comes to Morningside

By Yuka Kotani–International students living in a country away from their homeland usually become homesick. But Morningside College provides international students not only a good education and club activities but also a wonderful time.

Why international students come to Morningside-
According to Mary Krejci, international student advisor, Morningside College has 62 international students from 16 different countries this semester. The top three countries that send international students are Germany, Japan, and Brazil.

Krejci said one of the reasons international students come to Morningside College is for sports. Morningside puts effort into their athletics and clubs. This way international students can focus on their clubs while they make efforts to improve their English skills.

Anjana Cordes is a freshman from Germany. She said, “There was not a good college that focus on a golf club in Germany.” She decided to come to Morningside College as an international student because she wanted to play golf and improve her English skills.

Fuzuki Ino, a sophomore from Japan, came to the United States to improve her English skills and seek a film and theatre education. Like her, a specific educational major is one of the biggest reasons for studying abroad.

To explain why Japanese students come to the U.S. for the improvement of English skills, Fuzuki also referred to Japanese education. “Japanese people usually start to learn English in middle school, but its education does not focus on practical English like speaking,” she said.

She explained that compared with other international students, international students from Japan tend to struggle with English. They do not have opportunities to communicate in English while in Japan.

Homesickness
However, international students do experience highs and lows in their emotions when living in a different country. Living in a country that has a different culture and language is a huge decision in a students’ life.

According to Fuzuki, “During my volunteer work in a preschool, when parents pick their children up, I really miss my family.”

Anjana also mentioned homesickness caused by culture shock. She said, “I really, really miss my family and my boyfriend…and cheese and sparkling water!”

According to The Japan Times, “There is a standard graph used quite commonly in American universities to illustrate the emotional ups and downs of living abroad.” It includes six categories: honeymoon, culture shock, the comeback, unresolved issues, feel at home, and departure concerns.

Each international student experiences each category differently. The same article mentions the more a person lives in a different country, the more they experience each emotional up and down. Those who stay for a few months experience the “honeymoon” period. Everything is new for them. For example, “This is American life!” and “Everything is big and everyone is kind!”

On the other hand, long-term visitors gradually miss their family, friends, food, and culture. This phenomenon is normal for them. As time goes by, it will ease negative feelings. They learn to become more independent and get over the shock.

Though both Anjana and Fuzuki mentioned homesickness, they also said Morningside life enables them to relieve their homesickness. Students and faculty look after international students with more than parental affection.

Krejci said from a standpoint of an international advisor, “We, Morningside College, love to have many international student!” She commented that Morningside College stands firmly together. She said, “Compared with other state universities, Morningside is not huge, but that is the very reason that we can create good and deep relationships with each other.”

Since Krejci interacts with international students frequently, she perceives their growth and development day by day. She thinks that studying abroad makes students strong both physically and mentally. It is important they are not only knowledgeable on their major, but also learn about the different culture and communicate with new friends often. She said, “Students are like a sponge that can absorb everything!”

Krejci said, “When international students go back to their own countries, Morningside College will definitely become another home for them.”