Beyond the borders – a look at HPU’s international students

By Mayeesa Mitchell, Staff Writer

September 19, 2012

This August, High Point University welcomed more than 1,300 students into the Class of 2016. Students in the freshman class represent almost every social, economical, ethnic, regional and religious background. Most importantly, they represent more than just America. The freshman class includes 18 individuals who are classified as international students and each of them represents a different county.

“There are many ways that we reach out to international students,” said Andy Bills, vice president for Enrollment. “One way is through our international admissions counselor, Amy Galbraith. She travels to different countries and represents High Point University at college fairs. Additionally, we connect with companies who have college search engines to make sure that international students know we exist.”

Hamza Madhar, an international business major from Morocco, North Africa, learned about High Point University through the Internet.

“I had the choice of universities in England and the United States. Since I went to military school in Pennsylvania, I chose HPU after visiting it,” said Madhar.

Currently an undecided major, Chloe Brake, an international student from England, knew of HPU because her sister is a sophomore here.

“I considered going to school in the U.S. because it [exposed me to] different academic opportunities and lifestyles. Plus the climate is much better!” said Brake.

The beauty of the university caught the attention of other International students as well.

When asked why he chose High Point, Madhar said, “It was like love at first sight. The first time I visited, I loved everything about this school.”

Although Brake did not have the opportunity to visit HPU’s campus before moving in, she saw the beauty of the campus through the website and had gotten firsthand knowledge from her sister about the friendliness of the faculty.

“When international students have been accepted and commit to High Point, we help them with their student visas and any other paperwork. When they arrive on campus, we also help them with their English if necessary,”said Bills, in regards to helping international students make the transition.

“The biggest difference between here and home is the meals,” said Madhar. “[In Morocco] we have meals later than the U.S.; breakfast is normally eaten around 8 a.m., lunch 1 p.m. and dinner 10pm.

“I’m still getting used to the food here and the context that different phrases and words are used in,” said Brake, about her transition from England to America.

“Colleges in America are very different from back home,” said Madhar. “In Morocco, college is free but there is no student housing and absolutely no extracurricular activities.”

“The biggest difference between university here and in England is that you have to be decided on your major two years prior to attending university and obtain specific qualifications in your chosen subject in order apply,” said Madhar.