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Students from Many Cultures are Making a Difference on Campus
November 20, 2014
Spanning The Globe: A group of international students attending Rose-Hulman proudly showcase the origins of their home countries. (Photo by Shawn Spence)
Rose-Hulman is becoming an educational crossroads for students from throughout the world, making the campus a more diverse, globally connected community in which to live, learn, and work.
International students from 21 countries call the institute home this academic year, participating in degree and non-degree programs in a variety of science, engineering, and mathematics fields. They have come from China, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, and Singapore, and more.
“Our international students have contributed to providing Rose-Hulman with a global perspective, and brought awareness to different cultures and values,” says Karen DeGrange, director of Rose-Hulman’s international student services office.
Here are perspectives from four students with international backgrounds about why they chose to attend Rose-Hulman, and what they have experienced during their time on campus.
PEEM CHANROTCHANAPAN: Finding the Right Fit
Attending Rose-Hulman has allowed Napassorn (Peem) Chanrotchanaphan to do two things she loves: study chemical engineering and play golf. She turned down offers to play golf at NCAA Division I institutions to focus on her studies.
“Rose-Hulman was a place I could focus on academics and play competitive golf,” says the sophomore from Thailand who has earned All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors during her first two collegiate golf seasons.
Chanrotchanaphan learned about Rose-Hulman through an Internet search, discovering the institute’s No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide. She chose to attend the college without making a campus visit.
“In my culture were not focused on how nice a campus looks, but on the quality of the education. So, it was the academic programs that brought me here,” she says. “I like the people here. Everyone is willing to work with you. Professors don’t get annoyed if you need help. Golf practice and competitions are scheduled so that you won’t need to miss class.”
GUILHERME SPROWL: Helping Hispanic Community Grow
Guilherme Sprowl has found a comfortable and challenging life at Rose-Hulman. He’s elated to be part of a growing Hispanic culture that features students from Brazil’s Science Without Borders (SWB) program and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers’ student (SHPE) chapter.
Born in Brazil, the senior chemical engineering student moved to Indianapolis with his siblings after being adopted by a family that had been doing mission work in Brazil. Scholarships from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, and Lilly Endowment Inc. allowed Sprowl to attend his first-choice college—and one that is close to his family.
Since arriving on campus, Sprowl has been involved in a variety of activities, including organizing special Brazilian Day and World Cup Warm Up campus events, helped welcome students attending Rose-Hulman as part of the SWB program, and being a SHPE chapter leader.
“Since I’ve been here, I have seen a growing diversity on campus—people from different backgrounds and cultures. It has been great to see how we approach problems differently,” he says.
ELENA CHONG: Wanting to Impact the World
Being a part of the Rose-Hulman community was a delightful surprise for Elena Chong, who originally sought a larger American college. However, she fell in love with the institute’s small-college charm and educational atmosphere.
“I love Rose-Hulman’s special campus environment,” she says. “There’s a lot of stress and the academic pace is so fast. However, there are so many things to enjoy: the blue skies, grass, and trees. It’s motivating and inspiring.”
That environment is a sharp contrast to Chong’s home in Panama City, Panama. The junior is studying for dual degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, and hopes to someday return to her homeland to help build things that will make a difference in other people’s lives.
“I want to make an impact on the world,” she says, knowing that an engineering career offers the best opportunity to realize those goals.
At Rose-Hulman, Chong is organizing a Makers Club to create a database of equipment and expertise available on campus. Faculty members will be part of that valuable knowledge base.
“The faculty here is amazing,” she says. “They treat the students with respect.”
BARBARA ARHIN: Learning About Entrepreneurship
When a teacher in her native country of Ghana urged Barbara Arhin to consider becoming an engineer, the student had one simple question: Women can become engineers? Such career aspirations are not encouraged in many international countries.
The freshman biomedical engineering student is expanding her educational horizons at Rose-Hulman. She is learning about the entrepreneurial mindset and meeting successful entrepreneurs as a member of the inaugural class of students participating in Rose-Hulman’s Engineering Student Community Actively Learning Advanced Technical Entrepreneurship (ESCALATE) program.
She also is adapting to the campus. “Rose-Human is so friendly, with many places to study,” says Arhin, who moved to the Chicago area a couple of years ago. “I have friends everywhere and it feels like a family. This is my home away from home. While I miss my family, I have quickly developed friends that make this place feel like home.”
All Roads Lead to Rose-Hulman
Students from the following international countries are currently enrolled on campus
Learn more about opportunities for international students to attend Rose-Hulman.