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How Mount Union has Become a Second Home to Out-of-State Students

February 22, 2024

By: Chloe Laszlo '25

When I was a senior in high school, I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college.  I am from a small town in Illinois, but I spent my junior and senior years of high school moving around the country before I finally settled back down in Illinois again. During the years most people were already committing to colleges, I didn’t know where I would be living next, let alone what college I would attend. I wanted to go to a school outside of Illinois, but I didn’t know where to look, so I decided to look to the east of my home state, which is how I discovered Mount Union. 

Chloe Laszlo is standing outside wearing a striped shirt


As a Japanese major, attending a school with a good Japanese program was of utmost importance to me, so when I saw that Mount Union offered a Japanese major with native Japanese teachers and a new Japanese TA from Kansai Gaidai University every year, my attention was caught, but what sold me on Mount Union was when I went on my first tour. 

The weather was perfect that day! I loved how pretty the trees and lake looked and how quaint and homey the campus felt. During my tour, I met with the head of the language department, Dr. Hall. She was able to tell me about the Japanese program in depth, explain Mount Union’s study abroad opportunities, and how easy it is to double major with a language degree, which was one of my goals. From the moment I took my first campus tour, I knew Mount Union was going to be my home for the next four years. 

I found my place on campus by being involved in various clubs such as the Association of International Students (AIS), Calliope, and Japanese Club. I have made so many friends, even ones from Japan, and thanks to Mount Union’s welcoming community, I have never felt like an outsider. 

thanks to Mount Union’s welcoming community, I have never felt like an outsider.

Chloe Laszlo

As of Fall 2023, Mount Union is home to a total of 1,668 undergraduate and graduate students, and out of that number 343, about 21%, are not from Ohio. Students who live anywhere from across the country have been able to find a home at Mount Union. One of those students is Eleonora Kalustyan ‘27 a nursing major and transfer student from Seattle, Washington. While looking for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, Kalustyan set her sights on Mount Union because a friend of hers had attended Mount Union for teaching. 

Eleonora Kalustyan wearing a ball cap

After looking into the BSN program offered here at Mount, it is exceptional in comparison to other schools. The NCLEX passing rates are nearly perfect…” Kalustayan said. 

Along with the quality of the BSN program, Kalustyan had been specifically looking for a school with smaller classroom sizes, so she decided to enroll. 

Mount Union was a perfect decision for me because it meets all the things that I was looking for in a university. I feel happy that I chose to come to Mount.”

She was able to find a community and home for herself within the Esports Team where she plays League of Legends. “I initially joined it so I could make more friends on campus that also gamed and shared similar interests as me. This was an amazing decision, and I’m glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I know that if I’m ever feeling down or need to get my mind off things, I can always go there and hang out with everyone.” 

Jack Galvez smiling


Jack Galvez ‘27 an exercise science major from Georgia was also able to find a second home at Mount Union. “Mount Union really found me,” Galvez said, “Coach Dan Allen reached out to me during my senior year of high school to come on a visit to Mount. Right when I stepped foot on campus, I immediately saw myself being a Purple Raider.”

Along with this, the ultimate deciding factor for him to come to Mount Union was due to the unique learning environment and hospitable community. Through playing on the football team, Galvez has been able to build a home for himself and be surrounded by people who have made him feel welcome. 


Right when I stepped foot on campus, I immediately saw myself being a Purple Raider.

Jack Galvez

“I have made so many close friends and connections during the first few months of my college experience, and there is no question that being part of a great tradition and culture played a role in that,” said Galvez. 

When asked what tips they have for out-of-state students coming to Mount Union, they both had the same advice: get yourself out there. 

When I first came here, I didn’t have very many friends on campus, and I felt very alone a lot of the time. Forcing myself to join clubs and being a part of the university in more ways than just being a student really helps get yourself out there to meet new people that you otherwise would’ve never met before,” advised Kalustyan.

“...going out of your way to make new friends and trying new things is very important,” said Galvez, “Not only will you be able to build a strong, supportive circle around you, but it also will help build your own personal character.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re from Illinois, Washington, or Georgia. At Mount Union, anyone can find a home for themself within Mount Union’s supportive and welcoming community.