Mary Clare Mulhern
A couple of weeks ago we, as a student body, celebrated the uniqueness of several different cultures by sampling their food and watching their traditional dances performed. Now that International Week has passed, we need to be careful not to forget the value of other countries and their role at the University of Dallas.
Andrea Chapa, one of the admissions counselors, recently took a six-week trip to Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to recruit students. She said that this is the third year the school has been recruiting from Central America and that it usually takes about three-to-five years to start getting students to come to the university.
UD is not the only college looking for international students.
Chapa mentioned that “a formalized international recruitment process is becoming a trend throughout universities.”
When our admissions counselors recruit in other countries, they search for the special type of person who will thrive at UD. They emphasize what this university has to offer: “Core, Catholic, Rome, Liberal Arts.” The goal is to find students who will do well here and want to stay until they graduate.
“We’re not just recruiting freshmen,” Chapa said. “We’re recruiting graduates and alumni.”
Freshman Bo Yeong Chung is an international student from Korea. She went to school in Texas for 8th-12th grade, and visited the University of Dallas in high school when her school took some of them to visit campus. She was impressed with several aspects of UD: the faculty, the Rome Program, the student to faculty ratio and the Core Curriculum.
“The Core focuses on the classics, which I wouldn’t get a chance to study otherwise,” Chung said. “I want to learn, even if the classes are hard.”
Many American universities’ goal is to have 7-10 percent international students. We’re at one percent.
“We have lots of room to grow, but we have limited resources,” Chapa said. The program is just beginning and does not have a large budget.
How can UD students help foster a more ethnically diverse student body? We should appreciate the international students and welcome them so they feel comfortable and at home here. There are several international clubs on campus that focus on cultures around the world. If that culture interests you, become involved. If there is no club for a particular nation that fascinates you, then start one. By creating a welcoming environment, we will be able to attract and retain deserving international students.