UWS International Students Share College Experience

This Fall, UWS is welcoming 200 international students from 40 countries

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The school year starts Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

This fall, the university is welcoming two hundred international students from forty different countries.

About nine percent of UW-Superior students are from a foreign country. That’s the highest percentage of any college in Northwestern Wisconsin or Northeastern Minnesota.

“I’m from Vietnam, an Eastern country, I really want to explore a different culture from a Western country like the United States,” said Hung Nguyen, who is set to begin his senior year at UWS.

Flags from dozens of countries add color to the Yellowjacket Union.

“In a classroom when you have a discussion, if you have people from different backgrounds, not just income level but people from different cultures, it is really good for a good discussion,” said Nguyen.

The flags symbolize each home country represented in the student body.

“It also in many ways prepares our domestic students to go out into a workforce and pursue careers that are only going to be more diverse by the year,” said Mark MacLean, the UWS Director of International Admissions.

UWS has the second highest percentage of foreign students of any UW campus, behind only UW-Madison.

“I was looking for a small college with liberal arts and then I found this school and I feel like this is my perfect choice,” said Haruka Hamanaka, a UWS student from Japan.

Hamanaka loves the friendly Superior atmosphere, even though the climate can be frigid.

“Last year it was very, very cold and then I couldn’t go outside that much,” said Hamanaka.

She competes on the track team and was just elected president of the World Student Association.

“I feel like everyone’s got my back,” said Hamanaka.

About a quarter of international students come to play on UWS athletic teams, like Brazilian soccer player, Gustavo Barbieri.

“That kind of changed my life because I was never the best student through high school and coming here I now have a great GPA, I have academic scholarships,” said Barbieri.

In his three years at Superior, Barbieri has been exposed to many different cultures.

“I have friends from Africa, friends from Japan, American friends, I have friends from Mexico,” said Barbeiri.

Those experiences are on the rise as international enrollment continues to grow.

It costs about $27,000 for an international student to attend UW-Superior for a year. Many of them receive scholarships to help with that cost.

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