ELIDA — The University of Northwestern Ohio is becoming a destination for international students, thanks to a recent expansion of its sports programs.
Several international students were imparting their knowledge of their educational backgrounds to students at Elida Elementary School Thursday.
“This is our sixth year that we have been coming here to the elementary and with the students then coming in, culminating the experience with coming to the UNOH International Fair in November,” said Danielle McClure, adjunct instructor for the UN 125 Language and Culture in the United States at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
McClure says their international students have wide-ranging backgrounds.
“The majority of the students that are here at the elementary today are athletes in a wide range of sports, tennis, golf, soccer. I believe we have some volleyball players and even a basketball player this year,” McClure said.
The international students also benefit from the experience.
“It works both ways. It introduces students who may not be able to leave the Allen County, Lima area to more parts of the world, but it also helps our students with their language skills both written and verbal communication and being able to bring a little piece of the other side of the world here to Lima, Ohio,” McClure said.
The international students find similarities with the education system here.
“We have reception which I think is kindergarten here, then we have primary school that goes from ages four to eleven, then we go high school which is 11 to 16,” Matthew Phocou, a UNOH soccer player from England who is studying sports business.
“It’s pretty much the same as England, really,”said Kieran Davies, a UNOH soccer player from Wales who is also studying sports business.
The cultural exchange is important to Gabriela Eva, a UNOH tennis player from Chile.
“It feels really good because not too many people know much about Chile,” said Eva.
Davies likes the opportunity to interact with the students.
“It’s a really good opportunity because for all of us are from so many different cultures. We have so many different educational systems in different parts of our countries they can learn about,” Davies said.
Reach Sam Shriver 567-242-0409