By Fatima Magana '22
ALLIANCE, OH- Have you studied abroad? Do you want to immerse yourself in a different culture from yours? Do you speak a different language? If so, Mount Union has a great environment to do so. Studying abroad is immensely popular, and Mount Union is very encouraging to do so. However, it is also very welcoming to international and exchange students wanting to study abroad in the U.S.
According to Dawn Adams, director of international student services at Mount Union, admission for international students is on a rolling basis. Once students finish their paperwork, the university begins the review process which takes less than two weeks which includes notifying students of their acceptance.
Students from all over the world come to Mount Union for an exceptional education and experience. Adams explained that for the 2021-2022 academic year, Mount Union welcomed 59 international students from 16 different countries which included Germany, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Peru.
Once at Mount Union, each student chooses their path. Adams indicated that some students are on a one semester or one to two-year exchange program. Other students may be new degree-seeking students or transfer degree-seeking students.
“International students bring their experiences to Mount Union and can share their culture, language and food with us. By having international students on campus, we all can expand our worldview on life, and culture.” said Adams as she explained that she likes observing the interactions between residential and international students. “Many of our students have never been on a plane trip for more than a few hours, so to think of the journey to get to Alliance taking over 24 hours is unimaginable.”
“Every culture has its uniqueness, and that uniqueness should be celebrated.” Having studied abroad herself, Adams explained that the transition from the home country to the host country is stressful. Therefore, she tries to integrate both cultures in the students’ experience while at Mount Union. “Go abroad and embrace your host culture; you fall in love where you are at,” advised Adams.
“I enjoy working with students and am especially happy when students stop by the office to share what is happening in their life,” Adams explained. “Planning cultural activities and trips is a fun and necessary part of my position as those experiences give all students the opportunity to meet new people and see different areas of the US at the same time.”
Lastly, many of the students go to Adams for help or advice, building a strong relationship between the students and herself. Though she wears many hats in her position at Mount Union, she loves being part of students’ lives.
“My relationship with students is multi-faceted, sometimes I am the immigration officer explaining federal laws while other times I am a Wal-Mart trip driver,” stated Adams. "Regardless of my role, my intent is to provide a safe space for all students to be their authentic selves and to be successful in life. We are all part of the Raider family!"