Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.— Twelve Mexican postsecondary students have immersed themselves in American and Mississippi State University culture during their recent five-week visit, coordinated by the MSU International Institute’s English Language Institute.
The United States-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research began in 2013 as an effort to enhance North American economic development through Latin American-U.S. exchange programs.
Soon after, MSU joined Proyecta 100,000, the Mexican government’s proposal to send 100,000 Mexican students and faculty to the U.S. by 2018.
Along with receiving approximately 100 hours of intensive English contact hours with classes and seminars at MSU, the students have continued their studies, long distance, from their respective Mexican higher learning institutions.
Additionally, the students enjoyed extracurricular experiences at MSU, including such campus traditions as ringing a cowbell and attending various sporting events. They also were able to interact with American students while residing in campus residence halls.
For many of the students, their visit to MSU marked their first trip to the U.S. Experiencing a Southern-style Thanksgiving was a favorite activity among the group, with many saying they will miss traditional dishes such as cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.
“As one of the United States’ next-door neighbors, the U.S.-Mexico relationship is important for the state of Mississippi, which sends $1.5B (2014) in exports, according to the Business Roundtable,” said Richard Nader, MSU’s associate vice president of international programs and International Institute executive director.
“That makes the language and cultural visit of these talented students and future leaders from Mexico to Mississippi State very timely, as these students will contribute to mutual understanding, educational and economic ties,” Nader added.
Prior to returning home this past weekend, the students met and enjoyed a meal with MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner during a Wednesday [Dec. 7] luncheon to discuss their time at MSU.
“We’re pleased that the Mexican government chose for you to come to MSU, an outstanding university that is one of the top in the U.S.,” Bonner said. “We’re honored you’ve been here, and when you go back home, we hope you’ll remember the things you’ve learned and come back to Mississippi State to pursue graduate school.”
Jesus Enrique Kortright Farias, a mechatronics engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez, said he has been impressed with MSU’s campus and people. When deciding on graduate school, he said MSU could be a possibility.
“The people here are friendly, and I appreciate how they’ve been treating us,” he said. “It was amazing to see that a lot of students here can speak Spanish, and we were able to practice with them.”
To participate in Proyecta 100,000, students were selected based on their GPAs, proficiency in English and application letters.
In addition to Kortright Farias, Mexican visitors to MSU included:
—Brandon Emmanuel Villa Cardenas, an engineering informatics and computer science student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Guzmán.
—Heber Alonso Quintana Chavez, an industrial engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua II.
—Ever Gomez Flores, a mechatronics engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez.
—Diana Elva Guzman Gonzalez, an environmental engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Guzmán.
—Rosa Arely Gurrola Jaramillo, a special education student at Escuela Normal Urbana Nocturna del Estado.
— Natalia Ivonne Piza Molina, a business management engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Chilpancingo.
—Perla Esmeralda Peinado Romero, a special education student at Escuela Normal Urbana Nocturna del Estado.
—Javier Chavez Pimentel, a special education student at Escuela Normal Urbana Nocturna del Estado.
—Cinthia Rosaura Aguirre Saucedo, an industrial engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez.
—Angelica Botello Soto, a business management engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua II.
—Iris Anahi Cortez Vaca, an industrial engineering student at Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Guzmán.
For more on MSU’s International Institute and its English Language Institute, visit www.international.msstate.edu.
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