JOPLIN, MO – Even though classes at an area university don’t start for a few more days, many students are already getting settled in for the fall semester.
But for one group of students, that’s a much bigger task than most.
A student’s first semester in college can be a daunting one, even for people from outside the four state area.
Just imagine what that’s like for someone from outside the country.
Tuesday was orientation for international students on the campus of MSSU.
“We feel like we, we take on a parent role, the way we treat these students, or at least the way I try to treat these students you know is how I would hope someone would treat my boys if I sent one of them abroad.” Says Stephanie Goad, MSSU International Admissions Counselor.
One comment made by almost all the new students is they’re surprised how spread out everything here in the U.S. is and you can’t just walk to everywhere you need to go.
“There are so weird things like I can’t walk anywhere, it’s a nation for cars which I’m not used to, I come from a nation for bikes and that stuff, campus and stuff, I’m not used to this, all of this like a big campus, yeah I’m just not used to it.” Says Noah Wilssens, Belgium Exchange Student.
While most of the students are undergrads, David Marecek is here working on his PH.D.
“American government policy, US foreign policy, there’s a subject like that so I’m quite happy I can see it from really the hot spots you know, so far I just study it from books.” Says David Marecek, Czech Republic Exchange Student.
While many of the new students have been overwhelmed by the size of malls and grocery stores, even the smaller stores are different than what they’re used to.
“People are nice and they try to help us a lot, I have been to the convenience store at the Lions Stop, I think it was good, there are lots of alcohols, yah.” Says Youngwoo Sung, South Korean Exchange Student.
In all, there will be about 120 students, 70% of which are seeking a 4 year degree at Southern, with the other 30% being part of an exchange program.
The first day of classes at MSSU is the 16th.