Ivar Moinat, left, with his brother, Maxim
According to international students at Eastern New Mexico University, leaving home and traveling a great distance to pursue their education can be difficult. For these students, transitioning to a new town, state, or country while taking on their new academic adventure can be tough, but it also can have benefits that make it worth the challenge.
Ivar Moinat is an international student from the Netherlands. He was born in Amsterdam and now lives outside the city.
Moinat has lived in the U.S. for two and a half years. He chose to attend ENMU for the track and field team. He got in contact with the coach and liked the plan the coach had for him. He is studying Environmental Science.
Moinat said that the education system from the Netherlands is different than the one in America because their high school is four to six years long including middle school. That can vary depending on how good an individual is in school and which plan they choose. The six-year plan focuses on university, the five-year plan focuses on applied science, and the four-year plan focuses on trade school.
Moinat said that although he does not like to plan far ahead, his plan for now is to live in the Netherlands after school. He said he would like to do something in the environmental area.
Back home in the Netherlands, Moinat was able to travel everywhere by bike. Moinat said he misses having everything within biking distance. The hardest thing he has faced is missing his friends and family.
“I can’t just drive to them,” said Moinat.
A big cultural difference Moinat noticed is that “everything goes by car here and sometimes I’m lost without one.”
One hardship Moinat faced while transitioning into the American culture was the eating habits.
One thing that helps Moinat when he is having trouble is having a great group of friends. He has learned a lot from other people. Being able to Skype his loved ones back home has also helped him.
During Moinat’s free time he likes to play games, watch television, and sleep.
Katrina Weir is an international student from Barbados who is studying Communication and has been in the United States for seven years.
Weir looked at several schools; her former coach helped persuade her to come to ENMU. She was also interested in the communication department. She visited ENMU twice and the second time she knew this was the school she needed to be at.
Weir said the quality of education at ENMU far surpasses the quality back home.
“The professors are more interested in the students succeeding in their academics and are not willing to give up on them,” said Weir.
Weir, who is an only child, said what she misses the most is her family. She said that prayer and support from her family have made it easier during hard times. Weir also believes that food was a hard transition because it is not healthy.
When asked where she would like to live, Weir said she does not want to put any limits on herself or God, so wherever she ends up, she knows she will be happy.
Weir is very busy, so in her free time, she likes to catch up on sleep and visit her U.S. family and her best friend, who lives in Hobbs.