Hardin-Simmons provides home away from home for international students stuck in Abilene

Abilene

Kayurs Sah is a double major at Hardin Simmons University where he studies math and economics. He also spends his time there learning different forms of media.

“My college experience has been great so far – there have been ups and downs,” Sah said.

Sah heard about Hardin Simmons through a close brother and came to Abilene all the way from Napal, but thanks to the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to make the trip back home in nearly 3 years.

“Covid happened and the travel restrictions and you know we could not go back home, but then yeah. . . I mean like we were sad for a while and we were like okay we could not go back home,” Sah said.

He says it was the community of friends and faculty he found at the university that made college a home away from home.

“There were other international students who were stuck so you know we were there for each other and the global engagement office and the school has been kind and generous to take care of all the international students during covid,” Sah said.

Sah and other international students were given housing and food, and he says it felt like a family.

Stephen Corbett, International Student Advisor at Hardin Simmons, works with these students, making them feel at home and even preparing them for Texas winters.

“I’ve noticed that as students come in from all over the world a lot of them are coming from warmer climates and so when they meet Abilene winters for the first time they think they’re prepared but they’re often not prepared with warm enough clothing,” Corbett said.

The school put together a drive for donations from the students, faculty, and staff around campus to give to these students while they are away from home.

“It can be a really lonely time for students when they’re facing different culture stresses and really missing home, missin that connection with their families so hopefully ideally we can be able to create an atmosphere where we can kind of be that home away from home,” Corbett said.

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