Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State welcomes international students to campus

August 20, 2015

A student's first few days at college may be akin to feeling like a fish out of water, especially for students like Julia Kist, who left her home in Vale Do Sol, Brazil a month ago to study chemistry and play soccer at Indiana State University.

"I really want to learn about other cultures and be able to learn more about chemistry in my classes," said Kist, a freshman who is looking for teacher support in her classes as she adjusts to the American education system. "People have been very kind to me so far and seem friendly and the weather in Indiana has been similar to what we have in Brazil, which might surprise people."

While education is the driving force behind their stay in the U.S., cultural exchange is importance to international students like senior Oluwafemi David, a Nigerian native who finished high school in the U.S. before coming to Indiana State seeking a degree in biology and information technology.Set to graduate in May, David has learned much about the U.S. during his time as a student and hopes he's offered Americans a new perspective on his home country.

"I'm friendly, open-minded and easy to talk to, so I hope people want to talk to me and learn about Nigeria," David said. "I want people to see that Nigeria is not like they hear or read about. I hope they get to know me and learn something new about Nigeria."

The welcome picnic, which is typically attended by between 350-400 international students, was also attended by members of the university's administration, including President Dan Bradley.

"These students are guests here and this is an informal opportunity for them to get to know each other and members of the ISU community, so they can start to feel comfortable here," said Zachariah Mathew, associate director for the Center for Global Engagement. "We wanted to introduce the international students to campus and community resources that will help assure student success."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or