There are a total of 168 international students that attend Eastern, representing a total of 28 countries. The largest populations are from South Korea (96), Canada (14) and China (10). Students have traveled from all over the globe to attend Eastern.
Kathy KautzdeArango, coordinator of International Student Services, has the day-to-day responsibility of helping international students facilitate the application process and entry into the country.
“I think it takes a certain kind of person to be able to come to a different country and study,” KautzdeArango said. “These students are the cream of the crop.”
Sophomore Yera Park had her pick of schools to attend, applying to thirteen different universities. She choose to leave her home in Seoul, South Korea to attend Eastern.
“Coming here for school was my first time in the U.S. last summer,” Park said. “I really liked what the representative said and it sounded like the school I was looking for.”
Most students will tell you that coming to college can be a difficult transition. It would be even more so if you were coming from halfway around the world, but many international students have made a seamless transition into the culture and community here at Eastern.
“I was sure I made the right choice within the first two or three weeks,” junior Paul Charles said. “Eastern is a good place to come if you don’t know anyone.” Charles is from Liverpool, England and is majoring in Biblical studies and theology.
Eastern’s emphasis on building strong community and fostering relationships appears to be a key factor in helping students to adjust.
First-year Klaudia Balogh from Hungary is one of the many international students who found the community at Eastern very welcoming. “I love the community and there is always something to do here,” she said.
In terms of adjustment there have been few complaints.
“Because I also have other students from my country, I feel like I have a family here,” said Zhangkair Wang, a MBA student from China. “And also the Eastern students are very nice to foreigners.”
Elaine Dube, from Zimbabwe, has nothing but good things to say about her time spent at Eastern. “I love Eastern,” she said. “Not only did I meet my future husband here but let’s face it, it’s just a beautiful place to be. It reminds me of Zimbabwean culture with the close-knit communities. I love that part of it.”