Graduation ceremony honors UH international students - University of Houston
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July 21, 2022

International students at the University of Houston were part of the 6,000 Coogs who earned their diplomas this spring. They may have been lost in the larger crowd, but the International Student and Scholar Services Office made sure they received special recognition for their hard work.

Group picture of International Students

Group picture of International Students

Every spring, the department in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services hosts a special graduation event for the 518 international students who graduated. This year, 34 graduating international students attended and heard guest speaker Akhilesh Bhangepatil, a UH international alumnus, encourage them to network.

Victoria White, who graduated Suma Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in French, enrolled at UH as a sophomore, transferring internationally in Fall 2019.

White said she was fortunate to be involved in all that UH has to offer during her time as a student, including serving in two administrations with the Student Government Association, where she directed the International Student Mentorship program, and being selected for Homecoming Court. She made lifelong friends along the way, White said. “My advice to current international students is to put yourself out there and get involved,” she said. “Even though it can seem overwhelming, there truly is a community and a place for everyone here at UH.”

ISSSO supports international students and exchange visitors to UH. There are currently 3,377 international students enrolled at UH. Jin Zhang, director of ISSSO, said it’s always rewarding to celebrate graduation with international students “who left their family and friends thousands of miles away and came to the U.S.

“Many of them had to overcome the challenges of language, culture, academic system, immigration status and others,” Zhang said. “We are so proud of them and honored to be part of their success stories. Some may choose to further their educations, others may take the Optional Practical Training opportunity or return home. But UH is always their home and the ISSSO team will always be their best friends.”