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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Studying abroad in Arizona

    UA goalkeeper Chelsea McIntyre, 0, scrambles for a loose ball in front of the Wildcats goal during their 1-0 loss to UC-Santa Barbara last night at Murphy Stadium. Arizona lost both of its home matches over the weekend by a combined score of 3-0.
    UA goalkeeper Chelsea McIntyre, 0, scrambles for a loose ball in front of the Wildcats’ goal during their 1-0 loss to UC-Santa Barbara last night at Murphy Stadium. Arizona lost both of its home matches over the weekend by a combined score of 3-0.

    France, Australia and Colombia are just some of the countries that students come from on exchange to study at the UA. But why do they choose UA and how easy is it to settle into life in the desert of the United States?

    Nadine Mackenzi came from Melbourne, Australia and is on exchange for one semester from Monash University.

    “”I wanted something a bit different, which the UA definitely is. It seemed like a good school and had good courses,”” she said. Finding an English-speaking country that was cheaper than the UK also helped her decide on coming to the United States, she added. “”I’ve heard anyone who has been on exchange to America has had an amazing time experiencing the college lifestyle: kegs and red cups you see in the films. I thought it would be fun to go to the USA.””

    Arriving can be a daunting task. Students must find housing, participate in their orientation activities, sign up for classes and shop for food and bedding. “”I think it’s kind of tough for them to show up in mid-August and be in a kind of environment where cacti are everywhere that they’ve never seen before,”” said Eric Deschamps, exchange student coordinator. Deschamps said it is important for students to know where to go for help.

    “”It’s important for students to feel like they have someone they can go to at the UA. Even if I can’t help them with the specific problem at least I can direct them to the right person, and they know they can come and talk to me about anything that comes up.””

    “”I had no idea what to expect in Tucson,”” said Mackenzi, who is studying aerospace engineering. “”It’s better than I thought … there’s things to do and it’s nice being able to go into the outdoors easily.””

    However, there is an imbalance with exchange students.

    Deschamps said more students want to come to the United States from other countries than American students want to go abroad.

    “”Exchanges need to be kept in balance; a lot of students are interested in coming to UA on exchange, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with that demand by sending students outbound,”” he said.

    To help balance the incoming with the outgoing, inbound exchange students are encouraged to recruit American students to study in their countries.

    Deschamps said the exchange program, though sometimes frightening for students, is invaluable.

    “”It’s important to get students moving back and forth between countries: It creates a better environment and relationship between the two countries,”” he said.

    “”You get to meet lots of people and form life-long friendships, and you get to develop your self-reliance and independence and you learn a lot about yourself and what you value … it’s really fun,”” said Mackenzi.

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