OLLU hosts international students

SAN ANTONIO – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) offers international students the opportunity to pursue an education in the United States. For several decades OLLU has been certified by the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enroll F-1 nonimmigrant international students.

Through this program, OLLU has provided international students the ability to experience a diverse campus, gain intercultural skills, and expand worldviews while receiving an education in the United States.

OLLU golf player Joshua Sturt, originally from Portsmouth, England, began his freshman year at OLLU in the fall of 2018.

“A lot of my friends from junior golf had previously come to America and loved it, so I always wanted to come,” Sturt said. “I also wanted to leave home to gain some life experience abroad, play competitively and gain maturity.”

Liverpool University and Readings University were among Sturt’s other university options back in England. Sturt said that the English university’s golf system is more social than competitive, so he chose to come to the United States instead.

“If it wasn’t for athletics, I would never have considered studying abroad,” Sturt said. “I would have just taken my offers in the UK. Now, after being here for three years, I’ve gained much more than just athletic experience by studying here.”

Another England native Jack Parker, a kinesiology major, transferred to OLLU in 2019 for his sophomore year of college. Parker was born in Norwich, England, and originally came to the United States in 2018 to study at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio.

“OLLU stood out to me because of the location,” Parker said. “The warm climate and being situated close to downtown in a big city helped draw me to OLLU as there would be lots to explore.”

Parker said that OLLU has a great community because it hosts many events on campus bring students together, which allows him to meet new people.

“Having international students as members of our student body provides cultural richness and a global perspective that benefits the campus,” said Mary Scotka, assistant vice president for administration at OLLU. “International students studying in the U.S. allow students to interact withdifferent cultures that they might have not experienced otherwise.”

Scotka said that international students often pursue degrees from U.S. institutions because they open doors to abundant career opportunities.

For the fall semester of 2021, OLLU has 28 international students pursuing their education using an F-1 international visa. The current OLLU international students represent 13 Countries, including the United Kingdom (8), Brazil (6), Mexico (4), Australia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, France, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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