By Sandra Pinedo
Pulse staff reporter
Living in another country and studying abroad helps us see the world through a different perspective.
International students come from a variety of countries all over the globe. In order for them to attend Palo Alto College, they need to complete an International Student Form that comes with a checklist of requirements, such as the ApplyTexas. They must also submit financial aid statements, academic records, photo ID’s, TOFEL and IELTS test scores.
All international students must speak and understand English; however, they may also enroll in an ESL (English as a Second Language) course to satisfy this requirement.
Yolanda Rodriguez, a sophomore currently attending Palo Alto College, is from Guatemala. She is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish, which is Guatemala’s
official language, and Kacquikel, which is one of 26 native languages in her country. Rodriguez learned English at PAC and is working toward her associate’s in Pre-Nursing. She is a recipient of the Good Neighbor Scholarship that helps cover all her tuition expenses. She will graduate this year, and she hopes to continue her studies in the U.S.
When Rodriguez first came to the U.S., “I was excited, and I was nervous, and I was sad and everything!” she said.
She said that studying and living in another country is a good experience, “You learn new things, new cultures and San Antonio has a lot of culture!”
Several other international students also attend Palo Alto from Latin America through a separate program called the SEED program, where teachers who already teach in their home country come to San Antonio to learn new things. Geovani Angel is from El Salvador and currently in the SEED program. His practicum takes place in Legacy Middle School, and he will be returning to El Salvador in June after living in San Antonio for a year.
Angel invites students of Palo Alto to visit Central America. “We are sociable people. We are delighted to share,” he said. “We make a strong invitation, and any day is a great day to visit El Salvador. In the same day, you can visit the beach and sleep in the mountains. Palo Alto students can also practice their Spanish.”
According to Stacy Evans, the International Student adviser for Palo Alto, “International students should choose Palo Alto because it is a small campus. There are a lot of different clubs and organizations, a wide selection of different programs, and once they complete their education, they can share this information back in their countries.”
The Alamo Colleges International Programs, located in the District Office, offers opportunities for all Alamo College students interested in studying abroad through faculty-led programs in the summer. Costs range from $3,000 to $5,500. Students may take advantage of semester-long exchange programs, as well. For programs longer than five weeks, students may qualify for the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship. Also available for students seeking to go abroad is the Jason DeLecour Memorial Scholarship, which is exclusively for PAC students.
When you meet an international student, welcome them to PAC, since it could be you in England, Brazil, Mexico or China. The possibilities are endless.