International Students are happy to call SFA home

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Walking across campus at Stephen F. Austin, you might be surprised to know that students from 34 foreign countries call this home.

"We have about 125 international students on campus right now. About 75 percent of them are undergraduate students and they're in all different majors across campus. Some in hospitality, nursing, music, so they're studying every major and they're just like a regular student here," Heather Catton, SFASU Interim Director of International Programs, said.

This week they are hosting international education week. The goal is to let other students know about the campuses diversity. Catton said, "Right now our top countries are China, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, and Nigeria."

Adapting to school and life in the U.S. can be hard, but for many of these international students they say a small town like Nacogdoches has made the transition much easier.

Ahmed Alhuwaymil, a Saudi Arabia international student, said, "I like it here in Nacogdoches. A small community where you can do whatever you want, and with friendly people here I like this city."

"I have been here in Nacogdoches three months but actually I've been in the United States for two years, so there is a difference between Nacogdoches and big cities. It's a really small town and the people come together and they meet together every weekend, so I like it here," Badi Aldossry, a Saudi Arabia international student, said.

SFA's international program offers many services for the students like special orientations and group activities to help the students get accustomed to campus and American culture.

Ahmad Nasser, a Jordan international student, said, "I advise everyone who would like to come and continue his graduate degrees or study outside his country to come here because he's going to find so many new things, new culture, and he will be really, really happy being here."

Nasser will be hosting a gateway to Jordan speech in the SFA Steen library Wednesday at noon. Authentic Jordanian food will be cooked and served by the Jordan international student, and everyone is welcome.

On Thursday, each international student will cook a dish from their home country and serve it at the food festival at noon in the Yellow House on E. College.

The SFA world cup soccer tournament will end international education week. Teams of four created by SFA international students will be playing all day at the HPE gym.