VSU International students help bring culture, diversity to Azalea City

VSU International students help bring culture, diversity to Azalea City

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Valdosta State University (VSU) has been ranked as one of the top affordable universities for International Students.

Their international program is helping expand the culture and diversity in Valdosta. It also opens opportunities for people coming from other countries.

“International students can also help domestic students. I see students in my office who come to me and say ‘I met an international student from Germany, or Columbia or South Korea, now I want to learn the Korean language, I want to go to Korea, I want to go to Germany. So, not only do we host international students and help them get an education and learn about us, but they are also teaching us and American students about the world. So, they are opening up the world to our students, " said Irina McClellan, assistant director of the center for international programs.

VSU currently has 137 international students and 87 of those students are on campus.

McClellan said international students are helping diversify the student body and experiences for domestic students, especially for those who might not be able to study abroad or travel.

International students are also bringing the world outside of campus to the community.

Before COVID, VSU would schedule visits to schools in the area and have international students teach kids about their culture. Giving kids the opportunity to learn if they have not been outside of Valdosta or the country.

Jin Wook Hur is a marketing student from South Korea and is about to graduate.

Hur said the beautiful campus was what first caught his eye.

“I just learn through my friends mostly. I have a lot of chances I can make various friends because I’m in so many different organizations. So, through them, I just learn how Americans think. What’s their culture. How they act and how they live their daily lives,” said Hur.

Hur said he learns from his American friends and they learn from him. He said this experience has helped him grow as a person.

VSU officials said students are their best recruiters for the program, and they owe all the good reputation and the footprint around the world to them.

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