International students come to USF for a multicultural experience – The Crow’s Nest at USF St. Petersburg

Above photo: Moe Hattori is studying international relations, majoring in English, at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan.

Courtesy of Sophia George | The Crow’s Nest


By Sophie Georges

The University of South Florida is one of the nation’s leading universities for study abroad and exchange programs.

Partnerships with universities in Japan, Australia, France, Brazil and more attract students from all walks of life, allowing the university to be as diverse and multicultural as it is.

The COVID-19 pandemic put these programs on hold for a while, but they’ve come back strong.

According to the USF InfoCenter, 5,884 international students are enrolled at all USF campuses for the 2022 spring semester. Of this total number, 136 are enrolled at the USF St. Petersburg campus.

These students come from all over the world, with their own cultures and educational systems, but they all came to USF with a similar mission: to expand their knowledge and understanding of American culture.

Annabel Peach, a 19-year-old student at the University of Nottingham in England, is studying politics and international relations.

“It helps my degree to be here because I can communicate with different nationalities and people,” Peach said. The Crow’s Nest.

The main thing she wants to take away from studying abroad is the experience of living in a totally different culture. She also wants to gain independence and learn new skills that you can only learn once in a lifetime.

“[USF’s] The exchange program is really broad, so I meet people from all over the world and feel like I’m immersed in so many cultures,” Peach said.

Peach has had a positive experience so far, but she has struggled to adjust and understand “how much the classes and [American] college system are.

Annabel Peach is studying politics and international relations at the University of Nottingham in England. Courtesy of Sophia George | The Crow’s Nest.

Twenty-year-old Moe Hattori is from Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. She studies international relations with a specialization in English.

“In Japan, everyone comes from the same background, and I wanted to be in a more multicultural place,” Hattori said. The Crow’s Nest.

When asked why she chose USF, Hattori said, “I wanted to improve my English skills and learn about the different cultures of people in the United States.”

She said the hardest part of going to school in the United States so far has been speaking and listening to English lessons.

As students of international relations, Peach and Hattori gain invaluable information and skills through this experience.

Immersing yourself in a new and unfamiliar culture is one of the best ways to learn, and the programs offered by USF give all students the opportunity to do just that.

For more information and to learn how to apply for an exchange program at USF, visit www.usf.edu/world/education-abroad/programs/exchange-programs.aspx


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