Hello International Roos!
Don’t forget – we are hosting an OPT information session Friday, February 15 at noon!
Can’t make it tomorrow? That’s ok, because we will have another session next Friday, February 22 at 3pm!
Both sessions will be in MNLC room 151.
Please join us to meet your fellow students and learn more about how to get involved at UMKC this Wednesday on the 3rd floor of the Student Union from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM.
Free entertainment, popcorn and pop will be provided during the event and over 50 student organizations will be in attendance!
Do you like to meet new people?
Do you like to help people?
Do you know your way around UMKC and KC?
If so, then you may be a wonderful candidate to be an International Student Ambassador. The 2019-2020 International Student Ambassador application is now available.
The deadline to submit COMPLETED, TYPED application packets is 5 PM Monday, February 25th. NO LATE NOR INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE ACCEPTED!
Country of Origin: Iran
Tina Parki is in her final year at UMKC and currently serves as a campus ambassador and president of the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed fraternity. When she’s not in school, she is a group fitness instructor.
How would some of your closest friends or family describe you?
My family and friends would probably describe me as crazy (in a good way!) and extroverted. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing old friends, not to mention I am always dancing, even in the most random places.
What do you enjoy about UMKC?
I enjoy UMKC because of the size of the campus and the diversity! It is a decent size where I am not too last to walk to class but enough that I get my steps in. The diversity of UMKC compared to other universities is crazy, I have never been prouder of a campus to have support for all their students.
What do you miss the most?
Something I miss the most is having time. I am so busy and always running around but I purposely keep myself busy, so I do not have time to just sit and do nothing. There is just not enough time to do everything I would like to do.
What is a memory you are very fond of?
Anytime I hang out with one of my closest friends, Aminah, we always have a good time! One time we went to Chicago and winged the whole trip and I love being able to do that with someone.
Major: Civil Engineering
Time in the U.S: 9 Years
Country of Origin: Kenya
What do you like about Kansas City?
As an engineering student, Kansas City was the place to attend college because it is home to many engineering firms. The cost of living is also much cheaper compared to Boston where I attended high school and my first 2 years of college at UMASS Boston. I have grown to enjoy Kansas City every day and made lifelong friends who make my stay here great. Meeting people like that has inspired me to work harder, be more appreciative and become a role model for those younger than me.
What do you enjoy about UMKC?
As a student at UMKC, I have been exposed to a number of opportunities. I joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), Student of American Military Engineers (ASME), and the African Student Cultural Organization (ASCO). My time in this organizations helped enrich my college experience and network within my field to become more well-rounded. I was also amazed by the opportunities the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering offers. Over the past three years at UMKC I have been fortunate enough to have three internships. I have really enjoyed seeing all that my engineering education has encompassed, and I am excited to see how my education will allow me to contribute to society in the future.
What are some things you value? And why?
Family, friends and time are three of my greatest values. My family is the most important thing to me and I want to do anything and everything that will make them happy and proud of me. Secondly, I value true friendship. Not just a friend, but a friend that is not only there to celebrate, but also to encourage me during rough patches. Being away from my family means that my friends are the ones that I turn to. Thirdly, I value time. I believe that with the technological advancements we are easily getting caught up with our smartphone/social media. We need time to relax and enjoy quality time with our loved ones. This can only be possible when we learn to value time.
Major: Chemistry B.A.
Minors: Biology and Psychology
Country of Origin: United States of America (St. Louis, Missouri)
What do you enjoy about UMKC?
I love the people. I moved all the way across Missouri and in less than a year, I found a family here. They are so welcoming and loving. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.
How would some of your closest friends or family describe you?
They would say I am very outgoing and hardworking. I am always laughing or smiling, and I love meeting new people. I also take whatever my goals very seriously. So if you see me in the library working intensely, you know why. But I love being outdoors and being surrounded by people.
What are some things you value and why?
I value my quality time with God in the morning or any time during the day. I also love spending quality time with my friends and just getting to hang out and eat food together. You get to know people better when you spend time with them, especially quality time. I love having connections with people and this is how I get to form these connections. As you can see, quality time is my love language.
April Stratman is an International Student Advisor at the UMKC Applied Language Institute (ALI).
Stratman moved to Kansas City from Minnesota, at a very young age and has since been a big fan of the Sporting KC club. She enjoys BBQ, the Cheesecake factory and all of the different festivals in Kansas City – Culture Night, First Fridays, Big Picnic and Plaza Art Fair.
Her favorite memory while growing up was the opportunity to learn the Italian language from her grandparents. Learning Italian and Spanish at the same time was confusing, she turned this passion into a desire to study abroad and travelled to Alicante in the southeastern part of Spain. She has been to 26 countries and speaks a number of languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and English.
One of her greatest achievements is completing her Master’s in International Relations at Missouri State University. While on exchange abroad, Stratman did not feel very welcomed as a foreign student and hopes to help international students feel more at home.
An article published by the UMKC Foundation highlights Braulio Bosiloves. Braulio is a former international student at UMKC as well as an International Student Ambassador! We are very proud of you Braulio!!! Below is the article.
Bráulio Bosiloves loves sharing his passion and heritage with a wide range of people throughout Kansas City. As a UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance alumnus, scholarship recipient, and the school’s new guitar professor, he often plays at events around the city and interacts with donors to the Conservatory.
“If it weren’t for the scholarship I received while earning my Ph.D., I wouldn’t have come here, period,” he says.
A native of Brazil, Bráulio received the Ryan Greenberg Scholarship and cherishes the relationship he’s built over the years with the fund’s donors, Larry and Genie Greenberg.
“As an international student, I know the importance of having someone who could introduce me to American culture,” he says. “The Greenbergs and I are good friends – they have been great to me.”
Recruited as a student by former Conservatory guitar professor, Doug Niedt, Bráulio moved into his teacher’s role last fall when Niedt retired. Bráulio and his wife, a current UMKC student, had gone back to Brazil for a year when he was recruited for the position and decided to return to Kansas City.
“It feels so welcoming here – like you’re wanted and you belong,” he says. “Other schools are friendly, but never at the level of UMKC.”
Bráulio hopes to create a guitar tradition here by recruiting students while building bigger programs within area high schools.
“Guitar programs are large at southern high schools in Oklahoma and Texas, and I believe that’s what we need here in Kansas City,” he says.
When he’s not teaching, recruiting or working on his research, Bráulio enjoys playing at different venues around town, and the ones he looks most forward to are his performances at Bishop Spencer Place, a retirement community near the Plaza.
“They are my favorite audience in Kansas City. I always tell them that, and I mean it,” he says. “I have become friends with some of the residents there who are donors to the Conservatory. While I play, I talk a lot about the cultural aspect of a song and what it means in Brazil. It’s a very personal concert because they know me well.
“A lot of my repertory is from Latin America, from northeast Brazil, the Amazon, and my state of Espírito Santo, north of Rio. The audience thinks Bach is cool, but they really want to know ‘when is he going to play Brazilian music?’”
Barbara Weary, who started the Women’s Committee Taylor Weary Scholarship at the Conservatory, has seen Bráulio perform at Bishop Spencer Place every year since he was a first-year doctoral student at UMKC.
“It has been so much fun to see his self-confidence grow,” she says. “He has so much presence and is always trying new things. He is a breath of fresh air and I truly admire him.”
Bráulio thinks that talent matters, but the ability to sit down and practice for hours and hours is what he feels makes a musician successful. It’s often these long sessions that can cause injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
“People don’t always see the work that goes on behind the scenes – the pressure to give a perfect performance,” he says. “When you’re practicing eight hours a day, it can put significant stress on your muscles and tendons. Musicians are athletes for small muscles.”
To help prevent injuries as well as break bad habits, Bráulio’s dissertation and research is focused on creating techniques to help guitarists have an injury-free career, and his articles have appeared in many journals in Latin America.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the opportunity to play his guitar and introduce others to his background.
If it wasn’t for donors, Bráulio believes there would be significantly less high-quality art of any kind. It’s important to him that we continue to talk about music, dance and the arts from our different countries.
“Art is what really represents any culture,” he says. “Donors are who keep this tradition alive.”
On Friday, July 6th, UMKC tragically lost graduate student Sharath Koppu. We invite you to learn more about Sharath, his life and his impact on our community, as well as a message from UMKC Chancellor, C. Mauli Agrawal below.
Remembering Sharath Koppu (1993-2018)
Computer science graduate student
The university community is mourning the loss of one its own, Sharath Koppu, who fell victim to violence on July 6.
A native of Hyderabad, India, Koppu joined UMKC in the spring of 2018 as a computer science graduate student. According to friends and faculty, Koppu was an excellent student with vast knowledge in his field and was always willing to lend his expertise to help his peers understand core academic concepts. Read more >
Letter from Chancellor Agrawal
I want to give you my personal assurance that the University of Missouri-Kansas City is a very safe place to pursue an outstanding education, for domestic and international students alike
I understand your concern. The tragic death of Sharath Koppu has affected us all. But it is important to remember that Sharath was in no way targeted for his ethnicity. Unfortunately, violent street crime is a fact of life in most large cities around the world – a risk that is real, but one that can be minimized by taking prudent steps.
As you know, I too have lived the experience of leaving a familiar country behind to pursue an education here in this great land of opportunity. I have felt both the excitement, and the anxiety, that this transition evokes.
But like the vast majority of international students who come to America, my journey has been a successful and rewarding one. It can be for you as well. We must hold our memories of Sharath close to our hearts, but we cannot let this incident become a barrier to realizing our dreams.
C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D.