Riverland grows international reachPublished 6:30am Friday, October 5, 2012
Lucas Alves is having a good time as a student at Riverland Community College. He may not know a lot of English, but he’s thankful for the opportunity to go to school. Alves, a student from Brazil, is one of more than 20 international students to attend Riverland this fall.
“I like Austin,” said Victor Maltz, another student from Brazil attending Riverland. Maltz also plays soccer, and said he enjoys the small-town atmosphere of Austin compared to his home at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city.
Maltz is one of several Brazilian soccer players who came to Riverland this year, many to get general education credits out of the way, and some, like Maltz, to get a head start on a business administration degree.
For Nodir Boymatov, a student from Tajikistan, the opportunity to get a nursing degree is a blessing.
“It’s good to be here,” Boymatov said. “It’s great. There’s friendly people, and great classes.”
Boymatov, like Maltz, Alves and many other Riverland students, hopes to use his time at Riverland to transition into a four-year college or university. Riverland officials are helping international students like Boymatov connect with one another and with the community, through get-togethers like one Riverland advisers held last week or through other volunteer efforts.
“It’s very nice here,” said Darcio Rodriguez, a student from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Rodriguez heard about Riverland through a coach back home, and hopes to use his time here at Riverland to open the door to play soccer and study business at a large U.S. university. Yet he’s using the time he has here to learn English, and on occasion to teach other students how to dance.