International Community at SUNY JCC Covers Six Continents, 24 Countries

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2021 Olympic rock climber and SUNY JCC student Erin Sterkenburg is pictured during a practice.

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SUNY Jamestown Community College

Of seven continents, only Antarctica lacks a representative at SUNY Jamestown Community College. Sixty-eight international students were welcomed to the college this fall, including 26 from South Africa, eight from the United Kingdom, and new representation from Ecuador, Morocco, Myanmar, Saint Maarten, and Yemen.

Just three months into the school year, these students are already making their mark as student senators, resident assistants, student athletes… and an Olympic rock climber. Erin Sterkenburg of Durban, South Africa, found JCC through a college placement program.

“I chose JCC because it seemed like a good fit for me in terms of what I wanted to study,” Sterkenburg said. “The campus looked really beautiful, and JCC was one of the most welcoming colleges of all the ones that I looked at.”

Sterkenburg said JCC’s application process was informative, which was especially helpful to her as an international student. So far, she’s gotten to see Niagara Falls, and said she is enjoying college and finds her classes and fellow students interesting.

“Not only do I get to meet people from America, I get to meet people from many other different places around the globe, and learn more about different cultures and countries,” Sterkenburg said. “JCC also has quite a few other South African students, which is really nice. It makes me feel more at home here.”

Having an international presence at JCC creates opportunities for the greater community to also learn more about different cultures and countries. November 14-18 is International Education Week. In honor of this celebration of international education and exchange, JCC will hold a Go Global! Fair on Nov. 15.

Several panel discussions are planned that day, which concludes with the fair and features a Bollywood performance. All events are free and open to the public.

“SUNY JCC is so fortunate to have students from all over the world,” Rudi Andalora, global learning project manager, said. “High school students from area school districts, local community organizations, and JCC students, faculty, and staff, are invited and encouraged to ask questions and get to know our students here on campus.”

The all-day event begins with a panel discussion with international students at 10 a.m. International Club language roundtables are planned for 10:30 a.m. Both of these events will take place in the Sheldon Center, Scharmann Theatre. A Global Citizenship panel discussion follows at 11 a.m. in the Sheldon Center, Weeks Room. An international lunch will be available for purchase in the Jayhawk Café, and then the Go Global! Fair begins at noon in the Hamilton Collegiate Center Student Union.

“The fair portion will close with a special Bollywood performance by a local artist born in India,” Andalora said. “Sukanya Burman has deep roots in Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Modern dance, so this performance is sure to be delightful.”

For more information, visit sunyjcc.edu/events.