Changing Lives, Changing Campus
UNH Enrolls Its Largest International Class
“The landscape and scenery here are beautiful, the people are always nice and life is peaceful—not like New York, Boston or a big city,” exclaims Rilei Tong of China, discussing why he and other international students decided to come to UNH. Navitas, an Australian company that partners with universities to recruit and support international students, brought Rilei to campus through their International University Transfer Program, which offers international students a smooth transition, or “pathway,” into the American university system and UNH.
This fall, UNH welcomed its largest class of international students, enrolling 206 individuals from countries including Nepal, Vietnam, Korea, Saudi Arabia and China. UNH is growing the global presence in this small New England town. With over 100% increase since last fall in the Navitas program, 93 of the 128 new international undergraduate students will be starting their journey through the Navitas Pathway Program this fall.
“As a university, we have to be open to new ideas and perspectives. If we don’t focus on internationalization then we risk becoming limited in scope and limited in our outlook and that’s not how the world is right now. We want to be able to educate the students and prepare them to work in a world that is much more globalized. One of the ways we can do that is by internationalizing our own community,” says Leila Paje-Manalo, Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars.
The University has embraced that mission, supporting student organizations such as the United Asian Coalition, Arab Culture Club, Chinese Student and Scholar Association and more. Emily Chung, an international student from Hong Kong and alumnus of Navitas pathway program is one of the many international students who have become involved in such clubs and organizations. “Joining clubs is a great way for me to meet and interact with local students,” according to Emily. “By joining, I became friends with many American students. I now live with some of them off campus. Getting involved allowed me the opportunity to make these friends.”
Larry Brickner-Wood of the Waysmeet Center can also attest to the positive influences international students bring to the UNH community. “The Waysmeet Center works to build, form and nurture community,” says Brickner-Wood. “As the international population grows, a greater diversity of students have become involved, volunteering in the local activities.” Having that blend of students provides a rich integration of learning: “Just in this little microcosm of Waysmeet, when we have our house meetings, both international and U.S. students are able to come together and deeply share,” according to Brickner-Wood. “They introduce one another to foods of their native land or share stories of different holidays they celebrate and various struggles they have encountered in life. It exposes students to cultural experience that often times they may not encounter until later in life.”
More and more, students will travel from around the world to attend UNH and pursue a degree that prepares them for the challenges of a global workplace. Bringing new perspectives from outside the U.S. can only help enrich the curriculum and the student experience, as well as create a fuller and more international sense of community.
UNH Navitas Students at a Glance
Currently there are 164 students in the Navitas Pathway Program and 17 students who have progressed to UNH classes, for a total of 181. This fall, 92 students joined Navitas.
Gender ratio: 70% male / 30% female
|Kenya||United Arab Emirates|