Making the transition to America

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International students have a growing presence at SVSU this year, with numbers at 621 this fall, up from the previous record of 543  the year before.

The International Students Club strives to help the international students meet people and make the transition to an American school.

“The International Students RSO is a big advantage here at SVSU,” said Mohamed Al-Ghulbi, a pre-med sophomore from Saudi Arabia. “I believe it helps in getting new international students get settled, which is a big help since a lot of them are usually far away from home.”

Al-Ghulbi also likes to get involved in other activities available at SVSU.

“Mainly, I’m involved in (intramural) soccer, which is more of a lifestyle to me than just a sport,” he said. “Other sports and hitting the gym also interest me. Apart from these two main activities I love going to parties, SVSU matches, like football and volleyball, and just hanging out with my friends.”

Miguel Garcia Beltran, a junior from Mexico studying electrical engineering, said he is interested in the International Students Club because he likes to get to know other people from all over the world and learn about their backgrounds.

“There are people from other countries, and that’s what attracted me” Beltran said.

If he hadn’t joined the organization, he said he wouldn’t have met some of his best friends.

Jakub Jahnl, a health science major from Czech Republic, is enjoying his second year at SVSU. His journey in America, however, began even before he was a student at SVSU.

“I attended my high school over (in the Czech Republic), but then I decided to become an exchange student” Jahnl said.

If he had never gone through with the exchange student program in high school, he said, “I wouldn’t get a chance to meet some of my new friends and I would probably never end up here at SVSU.”

Jahnl said before he came to SVSU, he never heard of the International Students Club. The organization helped him meet fellow international students, which introduced him to some of his best friends.

“I chose SVSU because of my friends’ recommendation and because I had knowledge about the frequent presence of international students here at SVSU,” he said.

Jahnl says his experience as an exchange student in high school helped him improve his English, since he always was surrounded by American students. Once he came to SVSU and started to meet more international students, however, he said he could tell the difference.

“Obviously, my English got worse” he said.

Besides hanging out with fellow international students, Jahnl says he likes to go out and experience everything he can.

“I attend school sport events, such as football, volleyball or hockey, but also I like to attend some cultural events, such as school plays in Malcolm Theatre or concerts in Temple Theatre in downtown Saginaw,” he said.

For more information about the International RSO and to meet other international students SVSU, you can attend their meetings at 10 p.m. Tuesdays in Curtiss Hall 100.