Named one of the best colleges in America, Stetson offers academic excellence in more than 100 areas of study.
Nour Amri attended college for one year in her home country of Tunisia, taking the typical academic load of eight to 12 classes per semester.
Her class schedule and homework left little time for other pursuits. But that changed when she enrolled in Stetson University in sunny Central Florida.
A computer science major in her second year at Stetson, Amri now takes four or five classes per semester. She works part-time on campus as a business intelligence assistant in the university’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, gaining valuable job skills and work experience. She volunteered last year for a local nonprofit helping to reduce poverty and is looking for an internship — all activities that will build her resume.
“Living and studying here are some of the best things that have ever happened to me,” she said. “There is an amazing support system from the professors who only care about your success and a great community of international students that you’ll call family.”
Stetson has been named one of the best colleges in America by The Princeton Review and the Fiske Guide to Colleges, as well as a national College of Distinction. This small private university combines academic excellence in more than 100 areas of study with hands-on learning outside the classroom through study abroad, internships, research and community engagement.
“Stetson’s small class sizes and individual attention and mentoring from faculty help prepare students for successful careers and even elevate their career prospects,” said Stetson Computer Science Professor Hala ElAarag, PhD, who is originally from Egypt. “We know the students by name. We know their strengths and weaknesses and guide them every step of the way.”
Professors also encourage students to use the wealth of campus resources to land jobs after graduation.
“I and other professors in the department encourage students to take advantage of Stetson’s career counseling services and industry and alumni connections to develop personalised career strategies and land jobs after graduation,” Dr. ElAarag said. “I refer students to them if they need help writing their resumes or finding an internship or a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).”
Those resources can pay off for Stetson students, who enjoy a 91% success rate after graduation, securing employment or gaining admission to many top-tier graduate programmes. Some of Dr. ElAarag’s former students are earning doctorate degrees at top U.S. universities or working for top employers, including as a data scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Stetson also emphasises core values like cultural awareness and respect for diversity, which help students in today’s global job market. Those values are reflected in Stetson’s increasingly diverse student body, which comes from across America and 52 countries.
“Stetson’s focus on diversity, cultural awareness and global citizenship seems so important in today’s job market,” added Dr. ElAarag. “The job market today is globalised. One can work on a team located in different countries. Understanding and accepting different cultures can help students prepare for the job market now and in the future.”
Attending a college 5,000 miles away from Tunisia, Amri said she quickly made friends and felt right at home.
She lives in the newly renovated Chaudoin Hall, located across from the Carlton Union Building. Known as the CUB, it’s the main gathering spot for students with a coffee shop and three other dining establishments inside. The main dining hall offers Halal meals for Muslim students, as well as made-to-order food stations and options for vegan, vegetarian and avoiding eight food allergens.
“It’s like home here,” Amri said. “When I went to Tunisia for the summer, I missed this place so much.”