New international students study at Northeast


Special to the Viewpoint

NORFOLK – Northeast Community College’s international student body has increased as the institution’s Office of Global Engagement welcomed 21 new students during the fall international student orientation prior to the start of the academic year.

A large graduating class in May and transfers out over the summer months led to a smaller number of returning students, bringing the total of international students on the Norfolk campus to 60. Of those 60, approximately 45-percent participate on one of Northeast’s athletic teams, with men’s soccer drawing the most, followed by men’s basketball, baseball, women’s basketball, and women’s soccer.

“Our international student population is down a few bodies from last year at this time,” said Pam Saalfeld, director of the Center for Global Engagement. “But we had a record number of international students graduate in May, so that’s good for our students and good for Northeast.”

Saalfeld also cited random closings at some embassies and a tightening of visa requirements, which caused potential students to either be denied visas or to receive visas too late for fall enrollment.

“It was a tough process for many of our applicants,” Saalfeld said.

Students from Malawi who came to Northeast this fall have made it the most represented country of the Northeast student body with 19 total students. They are graduates of Norfolk Schools in Malawi. Second most populous is Brazil with eight students, followed by the countries of Australia, Colombia, and Burkina Faso, with five students each.

Sixteen countries are represented this fall at Northeast and includes one new country: Serbia. That flag has now been added to the hall of flags in the College Welcome Center on the Norfolk campus.

Saalfeld said the Global Center hopes to welcome several more new students in January for the start of the spring semester.