trent jonesWNMU Student Regent Trent JonesAs a student attending Western New Mexico University, I have come to discover that higher education is just as much about expanding opportunities through education and training as it is about developing forward-thinking minds prepared to enter a globalized society. University campuses are a medley of nationalities, cultures and traditions—a social diversity that not only creates vibrancy but understanding while fostering a wide perspective of thought and opinion.

As a student enrolled in the WNMU School of Business, I feel fortunate for the opportunity to learn from both students and professors who come from various nations, bringing with them their wealth of knowledge and diversity of thought into the classroom, enriching my learning experience. My international peers bring their culture and share their traditions as I share mine, experiences worth more than dollars and cents.

For New Mexicans, our culture and traditions are engrained in us, and sharing these aspects of what it means to be from the Land of Enchantment are a way of life. A vibrant international community on campus has taught me the practice of sharing my culture, from food and music to family traditions, is just as common with international students who attend American universities. The contributions made by international students are undeniable, from the economic impact on local and state economies to the cultural contributions to our communities.

As I look toward my own graduation, learning, working and living alongside international students has provided me a greater global perspective, compassion and curiosity about the world outside of my little adopted home of Silver City. And it has made me realize that my future success is not about having the tools needed to compete with my peers but the skills, confidence, and understanding that will be required to cooperate with those from around the globe.

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