Stetson University
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A top university in America, Stetson offers academic excellence and small classes

Mingzhe “Melody” Ma grew up in China and was attending college there when her mother encouraged her to go study in America.

Ma jumped at the chance, joining the many international students who dream of attending a top university abroad. She is now an accounting major at Stetson University, named one of the best 389 universities in America by The Princeton Review, a leading college guide.

Located in sunny Florida near beaches and theme parks, this institution draws talented students from across the United States and 56 countries. The result is a multicultural setting where students feel welcomed and can excel academically with top-notch professors in more than 100 areas of study.

Ma especially likes the excellent reputation of the Accounting program in Stetson’s School of Business Administration, which is one of only 194 business schools globally with dual accreditation in business and accounting from AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) — one of the highest standards in business education. In another nationally recognized program, called the Roland George Investments Program, students manage a real portfolio made up of $6 million in stocks and bonds, pictured above.

“I think the small class sizes and the close relationships with professors are the best because in China, there is a large population and it’s hard for us to get a close relationship with our professors,” Ma said.

“By having a small class size, it gives me the opportunity to interact with my classmates and ask questions to my professor at the end of every class, and I have never had a problem where I left the class with confusion on my homework. The small class size also helped me adjust my cultural and language barriers as well,” she adds.

Dr. Jennifer Foo, a Professor of Finance in the business school, believes Stetson is a valuable place for international students from Asia to pursue a degree in finance and business, given America’s many multinational businesses.

Dr Jennifer Foo. Source: Stetson University

“These global businesses are important for Asian students to learn that doing business in today’s globalized economies requires different approaches and adaptation,” Dr. Foo says. “Learning about how American multinational businesses adapt and change their strategies would help Asian students also apply what they have learned to expand their Asian businesses and respond to an evolving global business environment.”

Foo has taught around the world, including at a university in China. Like many faculty members at Stetson, she also leads study abroad trips for students to countries around the world. For example, Foo led a small group of students to Vietnam and Malaysia. In the former, they visited the United Parcel Service and learned how the multinational shipping company adapted their operations in a developing country by using motorbikes in a relatively chaotic and congested transportation infrastructure.

Such experiences allow faculty members to share a wealth of insights and advice with students. They also inspire them to succeed, said Anh Nguyen, an international student from Vietnam who graduated with a degree in Human Resource Management and International Business with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

Stetson University

Anh Nguyen. Source: Stetson University

“The support I received from professors, notably the former chief of Human Resources for NASCAR, was pivotal in shaping my career trajectory,” she recalled. “Their guidance not only instilled in me a drive to push harder and experiment with diverse strategies but also deepened my passion for the human resource field.”

Nguyen said the warmth and care shown by the Stetson community are “unparalleled.” “Whether conversing with fellow Vietnamese students or engaging with professors, Stetson feels like a home away from home,” she says. “The university continually pushes me to evolve and better myself.”

The result? Studying and living at Stetson is an experience that empowers students to reach their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world. For Ma, she hopes to continue her education at Stetson by pursuing a Master of Accountancy degree that will prepare her for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination with the end goal of working in the U.S.

While a student, Nguyen interned for Stetson’s Office of Human Resources and, after graduating in 2022, she was hired as an Employment Specialist in the office, where she now pays it forward for everything the university has done for her.

“Stetson’s Office of Career and Professional Development was with me every step of the way from preparing me with tailoring my resumes to assisting with finding jobs that fit with my skills and career path,” says Nguyen.

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