Students at a Global Education reception

Methodist University is consistently known as one of the most diverse institutions in the region – and a big reason for that is the international students it attracts each year.

Methodist University is consistently known as one of the most diverse institutions in the region – and a big reason for that is the international students it attracts each year.

The University’s Global Education Office spearheads the effort by not only recruiting students from across the world to MU, but by taking a hand-on approach in offering them assistance with applying, earning scholarships, applying for visas, traveling to the U.S., orientation, and more. Most, if not all, of these steps occur before an international student even steps foot onto Methodist University’s 617-acre campus.

Senior Ziyanda Khathwane, an international student from Eswatini who will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with concentrations in International Relations and Public Relations in May, saw firsthand the difference the Global Education Office makes. She applied to MU in 2020 during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and still received exceptional care and service.

“That’s what made them stand out from the other university offers I had. Their communication was great, and I felt taken care of,” said Khathwane. “I had issues with my SAT scores coming out due to the pandemic, so everything was delayed. They were incredibly understanding and worked with me throughout the whole application process. Then, when I tested positive for COVID right before my flight here, they were able to rebook everything.”

Stories like Khathwane’s are not uncommon for Methodist University, which welcomed its first international student in 1971 and has improved its international student population ever since. In fact, since tracking data in 1985, MU has graduated international students from 125 different countries.

The Global Education Office also assists international students during their time on campus, helping them with anything from registering for classes to filing taxes to getting an ID to becoming integrated into campus life. However, there are also a number of exciting new opportunities for the Global Education Office and international students.

All-International Staff

Olga Booth, Minnu Paul, Amelie Saunois
The Global Education Office includes (left to right) Olga Booth, Minnu Paul, and Amélie Saunois.

The Global Education Office features three staff members who all come from an international background:

  • Minnu Paul, director of the Global Education Office (India)
  • Amélie Saunois, assistant director of the Global Education Office (France)
  • Olga Booth, international admissions & immigrations specialist (Russia)

“We understand firsthand what it means to be international students and to work and live in a country that’s not necessarily yours,” said Paul. “It’s a unique perspective we bring to the students, which I don’t think a lot of other universities can do. We can even talk with them about the emotional side of being an international student.”

All three hold both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and have multiple decades of work experience, allowing them to offer advice to international students in both careers and graduate education.

Increasing International Presence

Currently, Methodist University has 93 international students from 59 different countries – with Eswatini, Uganda, Costa Rica, and Thailand currently bringing in the most students. In the 2023-24 academic year, MU had 30 international students enroll, which is more than double from the previous academic year.

The Global Education Office credits two factors for the bump: 1) a revamped marketing strategy that reaches more students and 2) the use of Common App, a platform that allows students to apply to multiple colleges at once.

“Some of the big reasons international students want to come to Methodist University is the location, since we have a temperate climate,” Paul said. “But also, they really like our professional programs, primarily in the areas of Business Administration, Engineering, and Financial Economics.”

Success After Graduation

According to the Global Education Office, the percentage of MU international students who earn a job within the first two months of graduation is higher than the national average of students who earn a job within six months to a year of graduation.

“Our internship placement rates are higher than the national average, too. International students are clearly finding success here,” Paul added.

Culture on Campus

International students hold flags of their home country during MU’s Pangea.
International students hold flags of their home country during MU’s Pangea.

The Global Education Office helps students integrate onto campus by encouraging them to lead a variety of events on campus throughout the year.

The biggest event of the year for many of the international students is Pangea, which is organized by MU’s International Club. The annual event allows international students to express themselves through dances, songs, poems, theatrical performances, and more.

“It’s probably one of my best experiences here at Methodist University,” said Khathwane, who participated in the 2023 Pangea.

There are many other events throughout the year that allow international students to showcase their culture, including Global Café (which allows international students/staff to share a food dish from home with the rest of campus), the Globe Presentation (which brings students together for an evening of celebration), and annual Spring Break trips to different areas of North Carolina.

Apply Now

To get started, visit our Apply page and visit the international students section.