by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer
International students have become an integral part of Cedarville University culture. In a year that breaks university records for international representation, more attention than ever will be given to enriching all “1,000 days” of international students’ on-campus experience.
This year, 42 new international students enrolled as the university saw a record student enrollment surpass 5,000 students for the first time in university history. Cedarville now hosts a university record-breaking 123 total international students, including those who have graduated and are now working on their student visa. This number grows to 300 when accounting for missionary kids (MK) and third-culture students.
”We’ve never exceeded 100, let alone go up to 120,” said Brenda Reid, director of international student services. “Parents, families and students are realizing what Cedarville does to care for international students – helping more than academically, but holistically.”
Subsiding pandemic restrictions provided the opportunity for students from various countries to attend Cedarville. This includes students from countries that have never been represented at the university, including Kazakhstan, Albania and Myanmar.
“Current students are already recruiting for next year,” said Reid. “Even now, we are trending, for next year, above what we have this year.”
Some travel close to 40 hours, only to be met with the culture shock of being in the United States for the first time. Cedarville’s detailed approach to orientation and continued support is what draws international students to the University, even despite the challenges.
“It was frustrating to be so far away from my family,” said junior nursing major Carolyn Sutherland, who lived in Australia as an MK for 12 years. “It’s hard to adapt to a new environment that isn’t home.”
To combat feelings of missing home, international students are enrolled in a semester-long course to ensure they survive and thrive academically and socially. Student organizations, such as Mu Kappa and the Multicultural International Student Organization (MISO), focus on providing international students with a community of others like them, making sure that no student makes these adjustments alone.
“I love my support groups here, like Mu Kappa,” said Sutherland. “It's amazing to be able to connect with others that understand what it means to not always fit in. So many of them are just as far away from their families, which means you have lots of support when you can’t get it from mom or dad. I am so grateful for what this organization has provided for me.”Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.