With the help of international students at Midway University, we see what it is like to study in Kentucky, USA.
The Bluegrass region of Kentucky, USA is mostly renowned for its thoroughbred horses, bourbon and bluegrass music, though in recent years this perception has started to change as the region’s schools and universities have become more international and diverse.
In particular, Midway University, located at the heart of Kentucky, has seen lots of international students visit and become enamoured with the region. Let us see what it was about Midway University that attracted them and any advice they may have for other prospective international students.
For more information on Midway University, please contact them via the form below.
Meet the Students
“I’m Phillipa Asherwood, most people call me Pippa though. I’m from Chisamba, Zambia, it’s just a small little farming community. I’m double majoring in Biology and Equine Science, minoring in Chemistry.”
“My name is Maxime Noel. I’m from France and I came to Midway because I’ve been recruited by Tim Wolz, who is the coach of the men’s soccer team.”
“My name is Cinelle Claassens, from South Africa. I came to study Equine Studies, Equine Science with a focus on rehabilitation.”
“I am Christina Bhandari, a Nursing Major and First Generation student.”
How did your journey to Midway University begin?
Choosing where to study can sometimes be a tricky process. How can a person from halfway across the world end up in Kentucky?
Maxime initially came to Midway from France as he was recruited for his soccer talent: “At first it’s kind of scary, you know, to leave home and go to live by yourself in another country where you might not know the language and everything. You just have to go.”
Cinelle similarly had contacts at Midway University which helped her decision: “So this was unexpected, my cousin actually goes here at the moment so she knows I’m interested in the horses and she also does Equine Studies and they gave me the opportunity to also come and pursue that dream because I also love horses.”
We asked Maxime if it’s been a valuable experience.
“I’ve been learning a lot and meeting a lot of new people - learning how to know the different cultures and everything. So I think that’s a really good thing to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people and go to a new place like that. So that would be something I would do again.”
What is it like studying at Midway?
“Academics-wise, I think Midway has helped me so much, just the small class sizes, that interaction that you have with your teachers is so personal and they’re always there for you if you need anything,” Philippa told us.
As of Fall 2019, Midway University has 1,702 students, making it quite small compared to other universities (Harvard, for comparison, has around 37,000 students). What this means though is that Midway is far more personable - you get to know everyone there. Maxime agrees:
“Kentucky is very pretty and I really like the size of the school. I really like the people here, people are really nice, really welcoming and friendly. Everyone’s been helping me to feel like home, so I really enjoy the place.”
“It’s like home for me now because I’ve been spending two years here. I’ve spent every day with my teammates and my classmates, so everytime I go back home I’m like, ‘I kind of miss that place’. And the campus is I think the right size, you know? Not too many students and people are really friendly and welcoming, as I said before.”
Philippa echoes this point. “Gosh, I don’t know, I think that it’s just the feel of the place in general, it’s just so homey and I think that’s a big thing for international students. There are so many universities that are huge and you go there and you feel lost, like you have to walk miles just to get to your classroom.”
“Whereas here everything is so small and it just feels like you’re part of a big family and it sounds cliche but that honestly is what it’s like. You know everyone here and everyone’s willing to help and so I think that’s an important part from an international side, is just having that home away from home, and you definitely get that feel at Midway.”
What is the process for application?
Of course, where you originate from and your own history will affect your application. Cinelle here shares her experience of applying from South Africa.
“First of all, in South Africa, we don’t have a GPA system. We also don’t take the SAT or ACT so I first had to go through the process of taking the tests to make sure I’m on standard to what America expects. Then I also had to send all my credentials through to a U.S. company so that they could convert that.”
“Once that was done I had to then apply with all of that here at Midway. Once I got accepted, then I had to go through the visa process and then I had to do my interview, my visa interview and when that got accepted, I then got to buy my airplane tickets.”
Are there any scholarships available?
Christina wasn’t sure she could apply to Midway University for her Nursing degree, but she told us a story about what made it possible.
“I had three browsers open on my laptop and I had my phone in my hand about to call my dad and just at that moment I received an email from Midway and it was from the Financial Aid office and they told me that I was one of the recipients of a scholarship and it was for $5000. At first I really thought it was a scam even though it said Financial Aid office. I just didn’t believe it because I had not applied for anything and that’s when I started crying and telling my mom and celebrating and yes, and then I sent the people who provided us with the scholarship a big thank you note and yeah, that was very encouraging.”
Any further advice for international students?
“I really think it’s a good experience for any international, you know. I’d first like to learn the language, learn to know how people live in different places. That’s probably the best experience I’ve had in my life, going to live in another place and knowing people and everything. So that’s something I would recommend to anyone who wants to come study here,” Maxime told us. And we agree.
If you would like to study in the United States or would like more information about Midway University, please contact them directly via the form below.