International Students Adapting to life at Averett


Dr. Franks

The 2019 Averett University international dinner at the President’s house.

Baste Endresen, Staff Writer

Averett University is well known and proud of their diverse learning community. The university has students from 24 states and an astonishing 20 countries. This makes everyday life more exciting for staff and students as we learn to appreciate different languages, cultures, and personalities as the different backgrounds complement each other.

“What attracted me to studying abroad is that I really wanted to see the world and experience and gain knowledge of other cultures. I want to seek opportunities for my career and interests, as well as getting the advantage of speaking a different language,” Venla Maatta, a Finnish sophomore majoring in sports medicine and a member of the women’s soccer team, said

For centuries the USA has been a popular destination for foreign students pursuing higher education, and in recent times it has become increasingly more attractive to chase this global venture as technology has made distance more bearable. A big reason why internationals pursue an education in the USA is the unique college experience, exploration, sports, and better opportunities. However, many international students come across difficulties as they experience big changes in their daily lives as they take on this challenge.

“When I first came from Barcelona to The United States, I did not know English. I did not understand my teammates, professors or coaches. This was very frustrating,” Lluc Pou, a Spanish sophomore majoring in personal training and coaching as well as being a part of Averett’s Men’s Soccer Team, expressed. “When I had homework, I had to translate my objectives to from English to Spanish. I did all my homework in Spanish and translated it back to English which was really inconvenient and difficult for me.”

Luckily, Averett is a small and family-oriented campus, which makes it easy for students to adapt. In fact, this is a key feature as to why there are such a great number of international students applying and wishing to study at the university. The presence of students in a similar situation makes the major decision more welcoming, attractive, and comfortable. This helps as the foreign students can seek counseling and guide one another.

Furthermore, the family aspect is heavily weighted from day one and is an appreciated quality. The “second family” feeling makes it easier to overcome the longing for family, friends, and their home country as something new and special is created.

“I miss the Spanish food and my family, but I feel that Averett is a family where I have many real and good friends so I am happy here,” Pou said.