The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) College of Engineering boasts students from 65 countries around the world, and international students comprise 43% of all engineering students and 87% of engineering graduate students. This diversity leads to a vibrant community where students can take advantage of a truly global environment.
Below, current international students Sylvine Ineza Ngamije, a biomedical engineering major from Rwanda; Thu Hoang, a mechanical engineering major from Vietnam; and Wasif Swapnil, a software engineering major from Bangladesh share their reasons for choosing UTA and how they’ve benefitted from attending the university.
Sylvine Ineza Ngamije
I did not know much about UTA, let alone the College of Engineering, when I was applying to colleges. I felt drawn to the College of Engineering because of its extended focus on society.
I like that UTA is not just a place where I can earn a degree, but one that’s full of opportunities that one can use to define themselves. It truly is a community that cares, with a great support system.
On top of sharpening my skills, knowledge and experience, UTA provided extracurricular opportunities that helped me grow as a person. In my first days here after arriving from Rwanda, it hit me that I had landed in an environment that demands excellence and that my shy and withdrawn personality would not successfully get me through it. UTA challenges you to set your goals high and then surpass them! I slowly started grabbing the opportunities presented to me.
There are many things that helped me along the way, but the one thing that stands out when I look back is the meaningful relationships that I made. Friends, mentors and advisors are of tremendous help and support in this journey. They help you make the right decisions as a leader and keep you accountable as you work smart, play hard and live well. They are the network that you’ll always be able to call on.
After graduation, I want to start my career and put my bioengineering training into action. I’m a passionate mathematician, and I want to explore using plane geometry and trigonometry to design artificial organs that fit to an angle in the bone socket. Eventually, I want to be a factor that contributed to the evolution of “proudly made in Rwanda” medical machines that will have an even greater impact on the improvement of the health sector in developing countries.
I came to the US from Vietnam as a high school exchange student. I lived in East Texas near Louisiana, then moved to Seattle and finished high school and earned an associate’s degree at a community college there.
I decided to study in the US because my brother, who was an international student before me, told great stories about what it’s like here. I wanted to be in that environment. School in Vietnam is very different. I got up at 6:30 a.m., went to school, came home, then went to extra classes. You don’t get to choose what you study. Here, I have a chance to find myself and explore my interests. I want to contribute to the process of human existence and see people living a comfortable and convenient life with innovations in technology. Being a mechanical engineer is not only my dream, but also a chance to break the cultural stereotype of girls being unable to pursue a career.
I chose UTA because one of my professors in Seattle was from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and he said it was a growing school, so they take care of their students. I liked that coming to Arlington gave me the opportunity to continue living in a big city, and UTA has a good mechanical engineering program.
One of the things I like most about UTA is that I can stay on campus and I’m part of a diverse community. There are lots of things to do here, so I don’t just go to class and go home.
There’s also a large Vietnamese community in Arlington, which has been helpful. Vietnamese students look to this community for convenience and support. For instance, if you’re looking for dishes from home, there are markets and restaurants where you can find them. There are also events like Lunar New Year celebrations that we can go to and feel like we’re home.
When I was younger, I went to school and tried searching for solutions to everything. Engineering is the study of solutions, so it was a good choice for me as a future career. I decided to attend college in the US because I wanted to explore the other side of the world. I looked at some universities in Europe, but I was drawn to the US and Canada. I decided on the US because it’s one of the best countries in the world.
I chose UTA because I liked how diverse it is. There are people from all areas of the world. I feel like I’ve met everyone at this point! There are students here from countries I didn’t even know existed. If you’re looking for a diverse university, UTA is one of the best I’ve seen. When I walk on campus, it seems like every other face I see is from south Asia or speaks a language I understand. At first, being so far from home in a strange place is scary, but it helps to have people around who you have something in common with. It’s a great place to study.
At first, I was nervous to speak up in class, but it didn’t take me long to get past that, and since I didn’t have any university experience at home, my experience here seems very normal. I’m a regular student like everyone else.
One thing I really like about UTA is that it has the largest Bangladesh Student Organization in the US. Since English isn’t my first language and it was my first time stepping away from family and taking care of myself, they really helped with my transition. There’s guidance available from people who share a similar background and who have been in the same situation and that made me feel comfortable.
Follow The University of Texas at Arlington on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube