USM hosts events to educate and celebrate international students from around the world

The University of Southern Mississippi invited students to the Thad Cochran Center as a part of the university’s International Education Week.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Coming from all across the globe, The University of Southern Mississippi invited students to the Thad Cochran Center as a part of the university’s International Education Week.

Through fashion, food and fellowship, international and domestic students rallied to celebrate each other and learn something new. Graduate student, Miranda Noland studies anthropology at USM.

“I’m always really excited to represent Japan,” Miranda Noland, a graduate student studying anthropology, said, “This is really meaningful to me because of my family, my research and, I think, this is just a wonderful opportunity.”

USM has more than 500 international students, with the majority being from India. Adjustments can be challenging. However, Peruvian native, Mauricio Unzueta, said he finds comfort in cuisine.

“The food is one thing I love about my country because you can find different dishes and combinations from other cultures,” said Unzueta. “You can find potatoes in Peru. Peru has more than 4,000 types of potatoes.”

University educators make sure students have resources and the graduate assistant for the Multicultural Student Initiatives program, Jenna Dittman, said that’s key to a smooth transition.

“For students to have a free passport photo, which you can go to the post office, but as an international student you may not have a car, you live on campus, there’s all these factors,” Dittman said. “If it’s set here, it saves so much time, stress, and money.”

With free passport photos offered at the event, it encourages students to get involved with study abroad programs.

“Sometimes we see the big news media headlines but we know there’s really a person piece to that as well as our students get to know one another in a one-on-one environment,” Leah McSorley, director of International Student and Scholar Services, said.

On this day of celebration, students are proud to share a part of their world.

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