The fall semester has started, and the exchange student program welcomed new foreign students from four different countries to the University of La Verne.
The majority of ULV’s international students study business, according to the University’s International Student Profile.
The majority of students who came to La Verne to study last spring were from Asian countries. And this fall brought a similar student profile, said Phil Hofer, director of the International and Study Abroad Center.
The countries with the most students at the University were Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, with 74, 51 and 10 students, respectively.
International exchange students usually attend ULV's program for one or two semesters, taking advantage of the opportunity to study, live and get a taste of what American life is like.
“International students receive the same benefits that our students get when they study abroad,” Hofer said. “Expanded world view, knowledge from another cultural perspective, international friends, much wisdom that comes from crossing a border.”
Sebastien Duroux, who is French, will study at ULV for the entire year.
Duroux said his business school in France requires its students to study abroad.
“I want to improve my English and learn more about the U.S.,” Duroux said.
Haruna Tabata, from northern Japan, said she thinks her study abroad experience will be both fun and challenging.
“I'm not good at English, so I have to study hard,” Tabata said. “But I can make many friends – not only Americans, but also from all over the world. There are many students.”
Philipp Huetteroth, a German exchange student, said he was excited to experience life in America and at ULV, but also expects to get used to his new surroundings.
“(Student life at La Verne) is completely different than our campus life in Germany. I have to adapt to the dos and don'ts,” Huetteroth said.
“But my thought about campus life is that all students are in the same boat. Together we will make it,” he added.
ULV students from the United States can also benefit from the knowledge and cultural experience of studying abroad, just as international students do here at the University.
According to the University of La Verne Web site, the Brethren Colleges Abroad programs allow colleges to exchange students with colleges from all over the world.
Looking back on the time they spent abroad studying at La Verne, many international exchange students say they had a positive experience.
“Even though it was kind of hard for me being far away from my family for nine months, I had really good experiences during both semesters,” said former exchange student Rafael Escamilla in a telephone interview.
Escamilla, who lives in Spain, attended ULV during the fall and spring semesters last year.
“I think we should all try to take advantage of this great chance to go abroad for some time,” he said.
Antonio Foncillas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.