The motto for Wheaton’s Center of Global Education reads, “We bring Wheaton to the world, and the world to Wheaton.” The center, which strives not only to increase the number of international students on campus, but also to send Wheaton students around the world, has met a significant achievement this year.
The Class of 2017 contains the largest number of international students of any class in Wheaton history, with 62 students from 36 different countries around the world. To the delight of both the Center for Global Education and the entire Wheaton community, the number of international students on campus has, for the most part, been increasing in recent years.
According to Mark Hoesly, Interim Dean for the Center for Global Education, there are currently between 150 and 160 undergraduate international students studying at Wheaton. Additionally, there are seven international students temporarily studying abroad at Wheaton, and five foreign language Teaching Assistants who also take classes on campus.
Concerning the growing population of international students on campus, Dean Hosely remarked, “We were really pleasantly surprised at the number of students both who applied but also who committed to coming to Wheaton after we offered them admission.”
The ways in which students from around the globe discover Wheaton are as various as the countries they come from. Dean Hoesly explained that while some prospective students discover Wheaton through the Internet and friends or relatives, others learn about Wheaton when the school reaches out to them.
Wheaton reaches out to international students in a variety of ways, from visiting high schools abroad to being represented in international college fairs. For example, Amy Markham of international student admissions takes numerous trips to China to recruit prospective students every year.
Dean Hoesly articulated what it is he believes that draws students from abroad to Wheaton. He explained that in addition to Wheaton’s positive academic reputation and location in the greater Boston area, the school’s emphasis on being a small, welcoming community is what brings students here from all over the world.
“We make every effort to make the experience as welcoming for the international students as possible.”
This is achieved in part by holding a separate international student orientation, as well as by providing shuttles to pick up international first-year students at Boston Logan International Airport to bring them to Wheaton.
Considering the statistics surrounding this year’s incoming class, the Center for Global Education’s has achieved their open-arms objective. Wheaton’s conscious effort to increase the number of international students on campus will be taken even further in the coming years.
Currently, about nine to 10 percent of the student body is comprised of international students. However, the Center for Global Education hopes to increase this to 12 percent within the next three to five years. The center hopes to continue to increase Wheaton’s diversity, in order to provide a more valuable and interesting college experience for every student.