Japan. Haiti. France. What do these countries have in common?

They are all represented at Fairfield this semester.

At this time last year, Anne Nieuwenhuis ’11, from Holland, was an exchange student at a high school in Connecticut. This year she is one of the many international students on campus.

“I played field hockey as an exchange student in America last year, and I actually didn’t think about coming to America for college,” Nieuwenhuis said. “But the coach invited me and right when I visited, I loved it.”

Camille Denouette, a student from France, came to Fairfield because of its location.

“I heard about Fairfield because my school in France has a partnership with Fairfield, and it was the closest school to NYC,” she said.

Denouette said her experiences at Fairfield have been great so far, but there is one thing she does not like about American classes.

“I’m not a big fan of multiple choice questions,” she said. “I’d rather write an answer to a question.”

According to the coordinator of International Education Services Alejandro Martinez, there are approximately 90 international students representing 32 countries at Fairfield this semester.

Over the past few years there has been a decided increase in the number of international students on campus.

This is not unique to Fairfield; it is a trend going on at campuses across the United States.

In 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings co-hosted a summit in Washington, D.C., in order to increase recruiting of foreign students among American universities.

Fairfield does not actively recruit students, according to Martinez, but there is a committee that makes recommendations to increase the international student population on campus.

“Since there are no recruitment efforts for international students, it is difficult to pinpoint how they find out about Fairfield and why they decide to attend,” he said.

Martinez also said that, as society becomes increasingly global, it is important for Fairfield graduates to have knowledge of other cultures, which is why the integration of international students on campus is so important.

“In order for the University to provide a top-notch education to its students, it must present them with a global education,” said Martinez.

The office of international students does several things around campus to accommodate students from abroad, including hosting International Student Orientations in the fall and spring, and organizing trips and activities for the students to help them make the most of their time here.

In addition, Fairfield is a member of Metro International , an organization that puts together activities and programs for international students in the New York City region.

Jenn Zocco ’10, who was an orientation leader this fall, said she thinks that the international students seemed to adjust quickly to life in the United States.

“I know I’ve seen them out at a lot of parties and other events, so they’ve definitely adapted to the Fairfield way of life,” she said.

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