MCC celebrates International Education Week Nov. 12-16
Marshalltown Community College 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 draw future professionals in, and it will be celebrated Nov.12-16 this year.
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 Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, has had the highest percentage of International students of all Iowa’s 15 community college districts.
Marshalltown Community College advocates and encourages international students studying at the College. It is a great way to provide cultural exposure to incoming students and to the MCC student body and staff. The College also provides a Multicultural Club that sponsors events and is open to every student and faculty member interested in learning more about diversity.
MCC basketball player, Chris Caird, is a sophomore who is originally from England. His educational focus is medicine, and he enjoys the different cultures he sees in his classes. “It really opened my eyes to have all kinds of groups in class with me, which is different, and I also like how studying abroad can leave you with many options. In America, you can pick any major and go as far as you want,” he said.
Since he had friends studying and playing basketball at MCC, and is close with Basketball Coach, Brynjar Brynjarsson, it was an obvious choice for Caird when deciding where to study. “I knew so many people here and I really like the coach, so that tipped my decision,” he said. He feels that being away from home has helped him grow up and gain independence. “Now I do things like cook for myself and wash my own laundry.”
Caird loves being in America; he enjoys the opportunity to play basketball, meeting new people, and the weather in the summer. Though he is having great experiences here, he misses his family, friends, and his mom’s cooking.
Russian student, Artem Esayan is a freshman at MCC who is studying business. He would like to one day own a hotel or restaurant. “America knows how to do business, so what a great place to learn about business. Some of my friends don’t understand why I am here; they think it’s different. I think it’s cool because not everybody gets to study abroad,” Esayan said.
Living in America has improved his English speaking skills and has taught him a lot about the daily American life, which he finds interesting. “I go to school and then I spend time with my host family doing things like going to church, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, going out to eat, watching movies, and cooking. I think it’s good to experience different things; it’s good to learn how to live the daily life of a new culture.”
Though Esayan misses the public transportation system he had in Russia, the big city life, and legally being able to have an occasional glass of wine with his father at dinner, he is enjoying his stay here and finds new things to embrace everyday. He loves American foods like hamburgers and French fries, and the freedom he has as a college student. “I am learning how to budget my money, which is hard but fun. I can either spend all of my monthly allowance or save it.”
One of the biggest benefits Esayan has had while studying at MCC is that he has the advantage of a smaller class size. “ I like how the teachers know the names of the students, and that they pay attention to any struggle you have with something and then offer to help,” he said. He feels that anyone who has the chance to study abroad should take it. “Do it, this is the land of freedom!”
For more information on International Education Week, visit http://iew.state.gov/ or http://www.facebook.com/InternationalEdWeek . To get in touch with the MCC Multicultural Club, contact Abbie Alsene at Abbie.Alsene@iavalley.edu or by phone at 641-752-7106.