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Campus and community welcome first students in Navitas at WKU program

They’ve only been on campus for a few days, but the first students to participate in the Navitas program at WKU are already feeling right at home.

Students in the Navitas at WKU program spent last week in orientation sessions before beginning classes on Aug. 30. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

“The community has a small town feel and the campus is perfect for education and is a good place to learn,” said Buyankhishig Jamsran, a native of Mongolia. “And the people are really friendly.”

Jamsran is one of about 20 international students who have enrolled at WKU through Navitas University Pathways Program. In addition to Mongolia, students are from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Jamsran plans to major in biotechnology to learn more about fresh, organic and healthy foods. “I really want to help my country in that area,” she said. “I want to make that happen.”

Donal Ducie of Australia, group marketing manager for Navitas, said some of the students may complete their bachelor’s degrees and return to their native countries, but others may stay in Bowling Green and the United States to complete graduate work.

“I can see many students becoming a part of WKU and the Bowling Green community,” Ducie said.

Chi Mingchao of China, who plans to major in mechanical engineering, said he’s already been impressed with the campus and the community. “Everyone has been friendly and really cares about us,” he said.

Ducie said the variety of strong academic programs, a safe learning environment and a commitment to service made WKU an attractive partner for Navitas. (In January, WKU was announced as the first U.S. affiliate for Navitas.)

“I have visited campuses all over the world and I would have to say that I was completely mesmerized by the WKU campus,” Ducie said. “I don’t event have the words to describe the WKU campus.”

Dr. Dean Kahler, executive director of Navitas at WKU, said students have been excited to see the WKU campus and what the school and Bowling Green have to offer. “It’s been beyond their expectations,” Dr. Kahler said.

After spending a few days in orientation sessions and social activities, the students will be starting their academic careers this week. “We will focus on quality and focus on enhancing the classroom experience they have,” Dr. Kahler said. “But we will also add a social component outside the classroom. This will be a complete immersion program in academics, social and culture.”

Dr. Kahler expects about 60 students in Navitas at WKU for the spring semester as more students learn about the program.

The Navitas at WKU program is being marketed worldwide by three staff members in addition to Navitas offices around the globe. The group also has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NavitasWKU.

“We are really excited to work at WKU,” Ducie said. “Students can see the potential here in academic programs, service to students, great facilities, the football stadium, health services and more. Those services combined with the Southern hospitality is a magical mix.”

Contact: Dean Kahler, dean.kahler@navitas.com.

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