By Alexa Slone, Contributing Writer
The U.S. has long been a country of discovery and exploration. This country is now being explored by a new group of people – the international members of Asbury University’s Appointed Class cabinet.
Asbury’s international program reaches all over the world. According to Jarred Miller, Asbury’s international enrollment specialist, the Appointed Class alone includes 20 international students. The countries they are from include Brazil, Taiwan, Honduras, Rwanda and Thailand, among others.
These students traveled halfway across the globe to uncharted territory, not knowing what to expect. What do they think now that they’re here?
Appointed Class President Juan Martin Vidal, from Quito, Ecuador, has a passion for politics. He chose to come to America so he could learn political science through the “American lens.”
The thing he loves the most about this country is the freedom. “Everyone is free to set and pursue whatever goals they choose,” Vidal said. “They don’t have to worry about interference from the government or anyone else.” Ultimately, Vidal plans to return to Ecuador. He said his goal is to become president there, and then make their government smaller and reduce the control and power it currently has over the lives of the citizens.
Morley Prenevost, a worship arts major and the Appointed class secretary, said she was shocked by America’s lack of public transportation. In her home city, Guangzhou, China, people either walk or ride the subway to get from place to place.
Prenevost’s parents lived in America until 2000, when they decided to move to China. In 2016, they returned to America and are currently living in Texas with their other daughter.
“It’s a great blessing to be able to learn about both parts of my heritage,” Prenevost said. “I learned about Chinese culture while living there. Now I get to learn and experience American culture, too.” She plans to stay in America permanently, but says she still wants to visit her family in China often.
Joseph Mikebanyi, from Nairobi, Kenya, is the Appointed ASC representative and, according to many members of the student body, one of the most social people on campus. He came to America when his father got a job transfer that landed him in Louisville. While in this country, Mikebanyi’s main goal is to graduate college and eventually become a dentist.
He also plans to return to Kenya. “It’s home,” he said. “I miss my family and my friends. I want to take what I learned from America and use it to make Kenya a better place.”
Although there are a lot of differences between America and their home countries, the three students agreed that this country is the land of opportunity. They also expressed their excitement for what is to come. Prenevost, in particular, said, “I want to learn as much as I can…. I have more opportunities here, and the chance to do what I love.”