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International Students from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) recently visited the Oklahoma State Capitol for International Student Recognition Day. Hosted by Representative Mark McBride and the Governor’s International Team, the event gave international students the chance to meet legislators and hear from guest speakers. “International Student Recognition Day allowed us to network with other internationals studying in Oklahoma as we toured the state Capitol,” said Alex Pike, a sophomore business administration major from Canada. “It was fascinating to hear other’s stories and connect through our shared experience of coming to study in America. I feel a stronger connection to Oklahoma after learning more about its history and the plans for the state moving forward.”

NEO currently hosts 51 international students from 17 countries who form a vibrant community on campus. International Student Recognition Day was established to welcome the international population and celebrate the cultural, educational, and economic benefits international studies provide for both students and the state. “This experience was eye opening. Justice Dustin Rowe’s speech was exceptional. He spoke about stepping out of your comfort zone by using his own life experiences,” said Thales Vilar, a sophomore computer science major from Brazil. “He left behind a private sector career of over 20 years to join the Supreme Court. I will remember his lessons and apply them to my life as I continue to grow in my career.”

International students in attendance: Thales Silva Vilar, Alexandre Frances Salmon, Heitor Altino Conde de Sousa, Alex Pike, Patryk Kulawik, Kevaughn Watson, Jasmine Young, Georgia Young. For more information about international studies are NEO, contact Elizabeth Flees, International Programs coordinator, at eflees@neo.edu.

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