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UNG Students Come From All Over the World


The University of North Georgia welcomes all students to be part of their institution. International students enter the country with an F-1 or J-1 visa, once approved they apply to the university, these visas focus specifically on exchange or foreign students.

An F-1 visa is given to students who want to graduate in the United States; they have to apply directly through UNG and stay for a longer-term. A J-1 visa, exchange students have to apply through a third party and have the option to stay one semester or a year.

The international students have to meet specific requirements every semester once they are enrolled. They have to maintain 12 credit hours, most classes have to be in person, and maintain a specific GPA. These students also have restrictions and requirements for their employment within the school and country, they are only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Ronda Carey is the International Student Coordinator, she begins working with her students as soon as they receive their acceptance letter. She’s in charge of everything except academic advising and teaching the students their courses. Carey said, “Once students are accepted, I walk them through the initial immigration and pre-arrival process – getting the appropriate documents and visas, preparing for travel, preparing for living in the U.S., orientation, class registration, etc.”

International students play together

Carey also helps them get jobs on campus, get their driver’s license, and help them prepare for their careers after graduation. She says that her favorite part is interacting with her students. “I get to work with students from over 45 countries,” Carey said, “learning their culture, values and their dreams have inspired me to become a better person.”

“Imagine how difficult college is in general, and then add all of the extra requirements of maintaining your status, all while being an entire world away from your parents and family.” – Ronda Carey

Hadi Anwar is a UNG student born in Pakistan but raised in Dubai. She began her courses at UNG in the beginning of fall semester 2021; Anwar plans to work for her associate’s degree, so she can later transfer and receive her bachelors. The student heard of the university from one of her cousins who had a wonderful experience attending years prior. She began her process in September 2020. “It takes utter determination and willpower. There will be times when you feel like it will not happen and that it is not meant for you to put in your all, but put your trust and faith in God to take care of the rest.”

After receiving her acceptance letter, Anwar had to wait for her I-20 forms and set an appointment for her visa. She attended the appointment in person and was asked three questions over her finances and education. Anwar says that although America is diverse and has many different culture and values to show, she still misses her family and culture.

Jose Patino came from Mexico City and was able to study at UNG with his F-1 visa. Patino heard about the university from a program called Hispanic Organization Promoting Education and decided to pursue a degree in social work. Since his father worked in the Mexican government for many years, he wanted to follow in his footsteps. However, since he also felt the need to help his other relatives with their business, he changed his major to political science and business management.

Patino had to go through the same process as Anwar; his process only took six months since he was already enrolled in a high school here in the U.S. After attending his orientation as an international student, it was eye opening how different they were from other university students. The international student says he remembers a whole session on how dating works here in the United States and how asking someone out can be interpreted as asking them to be your girlfriend/boyfriend, unlike Mexico, where it only means going somewhere.

He says he enjoys the campus along with its environment. “I love how helpful the Center for Global Engagement is with International Students; they truly care for our well-being and our financial stability,“ Patino said, as well as the professors for helping him succeed.

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UNG Students Come From All Over the World