PITTSBURG, Kans. — Transitioning from high school to college can be a daunting one, even when you’ve been on campus before.
But a group of students at one area university are trying to make that transition an easy one.
Imagine enrolling in a university without ever having stepped foot on that campus, or even the country it’s located in for that matter.
That’s the case for some of the newest Gorillas on the campus of PSU.
Nearly 70 students from 18 different countries will be calling the campus of Pittsburg State University “home” during this Spring semester.
Among them is Juuso Koskinen from Finland, who’s already taking a liking to American football. And it only took him four flights to get here.
“First from Finland, Helsinki, to Frankfurt, Germany, then to JFK, then Denver. I spent a couple of days in Denver to watch the Chiefs/Denver game. It was awesome. Then to here,” said Juuso Koskinen, PSU International Student.
Alexandre Lacerda is part of a team to help new students with the transition and knows exactly what that feeling of leaving it all behind, He did the same thing four years ago.
“You completely change your lifestyle. You’re emerging into a culture that’s not yours, and you’re here expecting to meet new people because you’re leaving everyone you’ve known for your whole life behind and it’s just sometimes really scary but also comes with a lot of excitement,” said Alexandre Lacerda, PSU Graduate Assistant, International Programs & Services.
Some of the new students will be here just for the semester as part of their home university’s study abroad program. Others have been here longer and will receive their degree from PSU and then return home.
It’s South African Amanda Makunike’s responsibility to help both types of students experience in Pittsburg be a memorable one.
“I have a group of international students that I am helping with the registration, the enrolling, just helping them to settle down, answering any questions they may have, helping them with their banking account, showing them where Walmart is and all the places we go and just helping them feel at home as much as I can,” said Amanda Makunike, Orientation Leader.
Classes start at PSU on Tuesday.