Sunday, October 1, 2023

International Students from around the world welcomed to MTSU


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Story and photos by Mikayla Hart | Contributing Writer

The annual international student welcome event gave a warm intro to new students from around the world who chose Middle Tennessee State University and served as an opportunity for the students to meet each other, as well as provide awareness of campus resources. 

Many nations were represented at the event on Wednesday afternoon including, but not limited to, those in Europe, South America and Asia.

One student from the Bahamas, freshman and psychology major, Mickell Collie, shared her excitement for beginning the semester.

“I look forward to meeting new people, getting good grades, and just a new environment to get used to,” said Collie.

Many of the students are most looking forward to making new connections and becoming familiar with new surroundings.

Pictured from left to right: Jiaying Shen, Alex Huang, Kiko Liu. All three girls are Juniors studying Actuarial Science and are from China.

Freshman biology major, Lisa Patel expressed her eagerness to learn new things from new people. Patel is from India and heard about MTSU’s top-ranked programs from family who used to live in the area. She also shared what she admires most about the university.

“I like that it’s a really diverse college with a really pretty campus,” said Patel.

Multiple students were made aware of MTSU through family members. A computer science major from the United Kingdom, Joseph Saunderson, was influenced by his older sister who was in his same shoes two years ago. 

“When she did it, she didn’t have any family here with her, and she did it during Covid as well, so I’ve got a lot of respect for her,” he said.

Saunderson shared that, in the UK, it is a requirement to be 18 years old before starting at a university. To get ahead, he was homeschooled through high school and is starting as a freshman in college at 16 years old.

Many students are also here at MTSU to get experience and chase opportunities that they don’t have back home. 

Audio Production major from Ecuador, Martin Echeverria is attending the university on a scholarship for his guitar playing. Echeverria is very passionate about music and the arts and has plans to make them more popular and accessible back home, as there is not much of an industry in Ecuador.

“I would like to learn from the best audio engineers in the world, so then I could take knowledge and bring it back to Ecuador,” he shared.

Coordinator for International Student Scholar Services, Megan Richard, planned this social event in hopes of making everyone feel more comfortable and connected in a new place.

“The objective is for students to meet other students, just kind of a welcome to MTSU, a welcome to Tennessee, a welcome to the states,” she said.

The International Affairs Committee meets at Jones Hall every second Monday of the month at 3:00 p.m.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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