Kalamazoo, MI
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Student Life

College Draws First-Year Students from Across the Globe

The many home countries of the first-year class' home countries (Hani Krugar) The many home countries of the first-year class' home countries (Hani Krugar)

From Bangladesh to Brazil, Canada to Kenya, this year’s incoming class comes from everywhere. According to data provided by Dean Eric Staab and Admissions Counselor Alex Werder, the class of 2019 is a diverse cross-section of ethnicities, representing 21 countries outside the US. K has 222 first years from Michigan plus 118 from out-of-state. 52 of the 367 enrolled first year students are the first in their families to go to college.

Julio Portillo, a first generation student from Los Angeles, California says that he chose K because compared to his other options, K has “a sense of community. It feels like a home where people can actually be together, despite any differences.” Julio is also a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team on campus.

Patty Spitzer, a Kalamazoo native, explained that when she moved in, she was amazed by the “diversity on campus… how many different people we can meet here.” She later said that she has since made friends with a few visiting international students and had she chosen a different school she would not have had the privilege of knowing them.

Gabby Cordova, a first year also from LA, describes her hesitation when moving on campus; she saw a “sea of white people”, and wondered about the Latino community at K. Cordova aims to get to know more Hispanic students.

Staab also noted that there are 29 visiting international students this year, as well as 27 degree-seeking international students. Of the 367 first years in Kalamazoo’s class of 2019, an even 100 students identify as people of color.

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College Draws First-Year Students from Across the Globe