ECC celebrates International Education Week Nov. 12-16
Ellsworth Community College (ECC) will join other institutions across the country in celebrating International Education Week Nov. 12-16.
An increasing number of international students attend community colleges as a stepping-stone to prestigious four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education team up annually for the opportunity to showcase International Education Week and promote exchange by motivating future leaders to study here and by making America more familiar with a global environment. The idea behind International Education Week is to broaden the sharing of experiences and to attract future professionals to the U.S. higher education system.
According to the 2011 Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report, 723,277 international students attended colleges and universities in the U.S. last year. More international students attended two-year community and junior colleges (89,853) than four-year colleges and universities (57,340) in 2011. International exchange is also a boost for the economy … between 2010-2011, international students brought $21 billion into the U.S. market.
Since 2007, Iowa Valley Community College District, which operates Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls and Marshalltown Community College, has had the highest percentage of International students of all Iowa’s 15 community college districts.
Ellsworth Community College advocates and encourages international student enrollments. According to ECC administrators, it is a great way to provide cultural exposure for all students. The College supports an International Student Club, which provides academic and social support to students who are far from home. The advisors at ECC work one-on-one with international students to ensure their academic performance and personal fulfillment while they’re so far from home.
Kazakhstan native Bakhityar (Baha) Medeubekov is a sophomore at ECC and has been studying in the U.S. for three years. He plans to graduate with a degree in business from a four-year college and gain professional experiences in the U.S. before eventually going back to work in his home country. “Having a U.S. diploma is good in every country of the world,” explains Baha. “Earning your BA or MBA can help you get a high salary job and ensure success in your future.”
Baha says that his experiences in the U.S. have made him more grown up and independent. Since coming here to study, he is grateful that his English language skills have improved and that he’s had the honor of becoming a Phi Theta Kappa member. “I think it’s really cool to be labeled as a smart person, and being in Phi Theta kappa gives you many opportunities for your future career.”
Even though he misses his mother’s cooking, the popularity of soccer games, and his friends and family, he really enjoys cheesecake, Apple products, and the American culture. “The people are really nice here,” Baha said.
Musulyn Yarngo is a freshman at ECC, and she is originally from Africa. She appreciates the educational opportunity she has here, and she enjoys learning the different views and ways of American life. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. Where I come from, getting a college degree is the greatest accomplishment you can receive.”
Yarngo has lived in the U.S. since 2005, when her country was in a state of emergency. Being here has given her an advantage to excel in life, a chance to earn an education. She would like to graduate and work in the U.S. before moving back to Africa, where she hopes to work with an orphanage. “I really want to gain experience and be able to help people,” she said.
Coming from a private high school in Chicago, Yarngo enjoys the quaint ECC campus and the friends she has made. “I feel that this college is like a family; it’s small and everybody knows everybody. I can relate to people here, which is nice.”
She feels that one of the biggest reasons more students should study abroad is because people become too attached to their daily lives. “We’re so involved in what’s around us, that we become dependent on those surroundings, and we need to branch out more. If anyone gets an opportunity to study abroad, it can fulfill one of your biggest accomplishments.”
For more information on International Education Week, visit http://iew.state.gov/ or http://www.facebook.com/InternationalEdWeek. To get in touch with the ECC International Student Club, contact Tina Wesselmann at Tina.Wesselmann@iavalley.edu or by phone at 641-648-8524.