Student Stories

You Are Welcome To Succeed in Nebraska Nebraska: A Home away from Home

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International students show their home country pride at the Homecoming Parade

Our international students come from more than 130 countries around the world. Each one has a unique success story and a reason they say Nebraska is their home. Meet some of graduates below and hear their Husker journey.

 Shemsa Ndahiro Iribagiza

Iribagiza finds new passion, leaves impact as “Woman of Character”

Since she was young, Shemsa Ndahiro Iribagiza’s parents instilled that she is a strong woman. Now the Rwandan native is dreaming big, helping others find their voice and feel heard, and advocating for others.

Meet Shemsa
Agustin Olivo

Door to discovery: Olivo builds on childhood dream as agricultural engineer at Nebraska

For Agustín Olivo, becoming an agricultural engineer wasn’t just a childhood dream – it's the fuel behind his career that has led him from Argentina to Nebraska for his master’s degree and now to New York for his Ph.D. in animal science.

Meet Agustín
Shridula Hegde

Nebraska empowers Hegde to accomplish goals, build community

From the community she found through getting involved and New Student Enrollment, Shridula Hegde has been an active Husker during her time at Nebraska. She graduates in May knowing she has accomplished her goals and is ready for the next step.

Meet Shridula
Zifan ‘Stefan’ Kang

Entire Nebraska community lifts Kang to next stage in life

Zifan “Stefan” Kang's favorite part about moving to Nebraska from his hometown in Xinjiang, China was the kindness and comfort he was welcomed with by all different kinds of people – a global community that has propelled to him his future career.

Meet Zifan
Anamaría Guzmán Cárdenas

Cárdenas danced into her own at Nebraska

Anamaría Guzmán Cárdenas has has always refused to box herself in, and her time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln allowed her to open up new doors by exploring the intersection of science and dance as therapy.

Meet Anamaría
Nabhan Al Hajri

Al Hajri moves beyond comfort zone to great success

When Nabhan Al Hajri thinks back to his first memories in Nebraska, he recalls how small his comfort zone was. After making new connections and thriving with the support of his architecture faculty, he’s eager to return to UNL for his master’s degree in the fall.

Meet Nabhan
Janica Choong

Husker experience helps Choong find herself

This May, Janica Choong will graduate with a major in advertising and public relations and a minor in English. She says her proudest achievement throughout her time at the university was actually becoming the person she is today.

Meet Janica
Kennedy Nguyen

Nguyen graduates with legacy of advancing allied community

Kennedy Nguyen arrived at Nebraska apprehensive about his next steps. After interning with We Are Nebraska and sharing his experience as a transgendered male, he graduates with confidence in his future and strong support from the allied community.

Meet Kennedy
Chin May Teoh

Teoh brings well-being and cultural awareness to campus

Hailing from Penang, Malaysia, May is a people person. For her, attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was a turning point as she worked to help people by serving as a Well-being Coach and raising awareness for multicultural engagement.

Meet May
Ali Jabbar

Jabbar inspired to reach beyond limits

Advice from one of his architecture professors encouraged Ali to think outside the box and move beyond traditional limits. After completing his bachelor's degree at UNL and preparing to return for his master's, Ali is certain those same words will continue to inspire his designs for years to come.

Meet Ali
Karen Da Silva

Da Silva leaves behind legacy of excellence after nearly a decade in Nebraska

International students find their way to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln via many paths. For Karen, her journey started with an internship in the entomology department and ended with a Ph.D. in agronomy and horticulture, nine years later.

Meet Karen
Said Al Barumi

Graduating from UNL a “dream come true” for Al Barumi

7,703 miles from his hometown in Muscat, Oman, Said took the first steps towards his dream of becoming a professional licensed engineer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Looking back at his involvements and the engineering competitions he helped lead, Al Barumi is proud of the person he's become.

Meet Said
Anja Rakotoarimanana

Nebraska becomes a transformative second home for Rakotoarimanana

Anja Rakotoarimanana may have left her home in Madagascar with the intention to transfer from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after her first year, but the Husker community and the opportunities she found quickly changed her mind.

Meet Anja
Hongfei Frank Yu

No regrets as Yu completes his Husker journey

Frank decided to participate in the 3+1 Program with Northwest A&F University in his native China to make the most of his college experience. As he progresses in his academic and professional career, Frank will always cherish his time in Nebraska no matter where in the world he is.

Meet Frank
Zilfa Irakoze

Irakoze harvests her dreams for agricultural leadership success

Zilfa came to Nebraska to cultivate her dreams as part of the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program, CUSP. After honing her leadership skills and interning at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, she's ready for the next step in her career.

Meet Zilfa
Chris JiHo Beon

Beon strengthens international student connection to local community

Before his journey from Ulsan, South Korea to Lincoln, Nebraska, Chris never thought he would be so involved in university activities. Now, after his five years at UNL, Chris graduates proud of the impact he's made in connecting the international and domestic community closer together.

Meet Chris
Xiao Yun Sim

On-campus positions inspire Sim to serve the students

When Xiao Yun Sim came to Nebraska from Penang, Malaysia, she imagined her career would be in music therapy. However, after working with New Student Enrollment, Sim is eager to continue her education and ultimately serve students in higher education.

Meet Xiao Yun
John Valencia

Connections, professional opportunities propel Valencia towards the future

John Valencia has been traveling since he was 13 years old. Originally from Colombia, Valencia was unsure if he could find his place in Nebraska, but UNL’s diversity and welcoming community quickly changed his mind. Given all the tools he needs to succeed, Valencia is eager for his next steps.

Meet John
Kexin Echo Zhang

Zhang experiences the world in Nebraska

Before she even began college, Kexin “Echo” Zhang knew she wanted to study abroad. Now, after graduating from the Zhejiang University City College (ZUCC) Partnership Degree Program, she feels ready for a career in today’s global economy after her international experiences in Nebraska.

Meet Echo
Quan Pham

Pham looks forward to skyscraper-tall dreams, still keeping Nebraska as his second home

Over the course of his last seven years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an undergraduate and graduate student, Quan Pham has made Nebraska his home. Now, as he graduates this May with his Master’s of Architecture, Pham is eager for his next journey and chasing big dreams.

Meet Quan
Hawra Mohammed

Mohammed carves her own path

Hawra Mohammed’s journey of more than 7,000 miles from her home in Muscat, Oman, to Lincoln, has spanned beyond academics and into self-reliance. Now, she graduates in May with a choice of employment and a bright future ahead.

Meet Hawra
Enea Pashaj

Pashaj welcome to succeed at Nebraska

As an international student from Albania, UNL encouraged Enea Pashaj to succeed across campus, from strong grades in his coursework to finding various on-campus jobs and winning awards for intramural sports. After earning his bachelor’s in accounting in May 2019, Pashaj will continue his education at UNL, pursuing his master’s and preparing for the CPA license.

Meet Enea
Blanche Butera

From one home to another: Butera ready for career in Rwanda

Blanche Butera was born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda. She did all her education there, until an opportunity arose to come to Nebraska on the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program (CUSP). Excited to return to Rwanda for a career in environmental studies, Butera knows Nebraska will always be her home.

Meet Blanche
Mavuto Banda

Google search to global journey: water program leads Banda to Nebraska

Sometimes a simple internet search can change a whole life trajectory. In the case of Mavuto Banda, it took him from Malawi to the Netherlands to Nebraska through a unique partnership between IHE Delft in the Netherlands, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute.

Meet Mavuto