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►Student Testimonials

The pathways students take to study at colleges and universities in Iowa are every bit as interesting and varied as the countries, cultures, and backgrounds from which they come. In their own words, students from some of our members colleges and universities reflect on their Iowa experiences below.

Mengchu (Lydia) Wang, China
Iowa State University, undergraduate business major
What is the best part about studying at an Iowa university?
I am an energetic and passionate girl who enjoys challenges and every unknown element in life a lot. The universities in Iowa could provide me with best learning atmosphere and various training opportunities. Studying here, I could enhance my overall abilities including academic ability, language ability and social ability. I am really happy that I have made a lot of progress since I came here.

What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
The state of Iowa is a quiet and beautiful state. Although being lacking in the big cities' prosperity, Iowa has its own tranquil lifestyle which removed from uproariousness and vanity. And the people here are kind and friendly. You could see their smiles everywhere on campus, on the bus, in the restaurants…… Everyone in Iowa seems to be a member of the big family, the Iowa family. I am enjoying their warmness and smile and believe I was accepted by the big family at the moment I touched the solid ground of Iowa.

Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
Firstly, the universities in Iowa never lack outstanding learning atmosphere, excellent school faculty, topping learning facilities and colorful extracurricular activity opportunities. You could be best educated in and out of academic aspect. Second, you would be easily accepted by the surroundings and enjoy the diversity of the school. The universities in Iowa could be your ultimate choice for further study and would definitely satisfy you with expectations.

Endalew Gebretsadik
Wartburg College, undergraduate majors in engineering and computer science.
What is the best part about studying at an Iowa College?
The best part of studying in Iowa for me is that it allows me to focus on my education and receive state of the art training which is going to last for a lifetime. The other best thing about Iowa is that its people are warm and kind. All they do is smile and make you feel at home; for an Iowan, it's never enough to smile!
What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
Iowa has one of the greates American heritages in farming and well-rooted lifestyles. In Iowa, I have seen places and people I thought only existed in the movies. However extreme summer and winter may be, outdoor fun is all year round here. Iowa really is a gemstone in the Midwest.
Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
I would suggest Iowa for students that have a passion for learning not only in the classrooms, but also outside their classrooms. Iowa boasts that they have one of the nation's top notch educational facilities and systems. Learning in Iowa allows you to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to the best of your abilities. It allows you to develop tools that you may need in life and it really is a place to grow as a whole person. Come here and give it your best, and I assure you that you will leave your mark on the world!

Udunopa Abalu, Nigeria
Iowa State University, undergraduate majors in economics and international studies
What is the best part about studying at an Iowa College?
The best part about studying at an Iowa university is the sense of small community you will encounter. It's not face-paced like in big cities, and you are more likely to find faculty giving you the focus and personal attention you need to succeed.
What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
I was most surprised about the growth of culture here. I thought there wouldn't be much here in Iowa, but I was delighted to find cultural districts, worldly good stores, live entertainment and theatrical performances, classy restaurants, and so on. It feels like a city within a small-town atmosphere and I like that.
Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
As an international student, I need to be focused on my academics and adapt gradually to any environment I find myself in. Iowa is a perfect first-contact destination for any international student. If you're not used to large cities, Iowa will offer a more relaxed, comfortable, and warm atmosphere to adjust to before exploring other parts of the U.S. Also, schools in Iowa are in America's top 30 US destinations that international students study in.

Swopnil Sthapit, Nepal
Luther College, undergraduate majors in psychology and health
What is the best part of studying at an Iowa college?
The remarkable reason for studying in Iowa is that most Iowa institutions are known to be nationally recognized and reasonably priced. The smaller colleges in Iowa provide an intimate feel and small class size helping students to interact better with the faculties. The friendly people and the excellent staff at Iowa institutions help students to adapt easily in a new environment. Further, Iowa provides boundless opportunities for college graduates to pursue their career and make their dreams come true.
What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
When I was coming to Iowa for the first time, my friends made fun of me saying, "What are you going to do in Iowa—play with cows and corn?" After coming here, I realized Iowa is not all about corn and cows. There is so much you can do in Iowa. I was amazed to see wonderful people in Iowa who are always so welcoming and friendly. I was also surprised to see the diversity of people in Iowa since I never thought that Iowa would be so diverse.
Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
I would definitely recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students. First, Iowa colleges provide a very friendly environment, which helps non-US residents interact easily with their colleagues and faculties and adapt more quickly to a new place. Second, Iowa colleges are usually diverse and have a good percentile of international students. The Iowa colleges offer good support and financial aid to international students to maintain the diversity of people. Also, most colleges in Iowa are top ranked and reasonably priced, which makes students able to afford a great education.

Puttarin Kulchaitanaroaj, Thailand
The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, doctoral program in pharmaceutical socioeconomics
What is the best part about studying at an Iowa university?
Universities in Iowa are famous for their excellent academic records, reasonable expenses, and the friendly people of the Midwest. All classes that I have taken are really great. Professors are talented, willing to help students with difficult course materials and provide professional advice. Opportunities for publishing and presenting at national conferences are abundant. I really love this. My working as a teaching and research assistant is smooth and enjoyable as it is supported by high technologies and a well-organized educational system. Also, cities in Iowa are clean and peaceful. People in Iowa are genuinely nice and I enjoy hanging out with my American and international friends. I learn about their cultures and languages. I get so much fun and every day at school brings me joy and laughs.
What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
I was pleasantly surprised by the local people and their strong sense of commitment to the community. Iowans think that international students are part of their families. I think it all begins with their amazing attitude toward us. They smile and greet everyone. They are also helpful, reliable, and courteous. I think newcomers learn to do the same very quickly. I dream that one day such a friendly community could be established in my hometown. I was also attracted by the beautiful landscape of Iowa. I like taking pictures when seasons change. I keep taking photos although I have already been here for two years.
Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
Iowa is very safe. Universities in Iowa provide outstanding academic environments and modern facilities. Studying in Iowa is affordable. Universities here also have high-quality recreational facilities that are most of the time within walking distance. This allows students to engage in recreational and sports activities on a regular basis. International students are more likely to be constantly exposed to English rather than if they live in big cities where students from the same country group together and use their native language most of the time.




Frederico Silva, Brazil
University of Northern Iowa, Masters Program in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs
What is the best part about studying at an Iowa university?
I have heard the saying: if you want education, go for the "I" states. I can't say for sure I completely understood that until I arrived in Iowa. The best part about studying here is to know that I am getting high quality education with high quality of life, but at the same time, having a very reasonable cost of living.

What surprised you most when you came to Iowa?
Before I came to Iowa, I did not understand the major role that Iowa plays in the presidential elections. Being here, hearing the candidates speak at my university and experiencing first had the presidential election events unfolding are definitely my favorite experiences and the biggest surprises that I had since I came to Iowa.

Why would you recommend Iowa as a study destination for international students?
Besides the genuine friendless of the people from Iowa and how welcome they make anyone feel when they arrive here, Iowa is an extremely educated and forward thinking state. I would recommend Iowa to any international student who would like to experience the culture of the United States for what it truly is.

Are you a StudyIowa Member and would like us to post a profile for one of your students? Email Tim Tesar at ttesar@iastate.edu.