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Program diversifies campus

Carolina Wilson | Friday, April 13, 2012

The 2012 Hesburgh International Scholars Experience (HISE) will bring 60 accepted international students to the University on Saturday.

Julie Denkler, Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, said Notre Dame is greatly benefited by the Hesburgh International Scholars program and its ability to continue the diversification of the student body.

“A campus community is always benefited by diversity,” she said. “We see diversity in numerous ways, [such as] geographic diversity, cultural and ethnic diversity, racial diversity, as well as religious diversity among others.”

Denkler said this is the fifth year the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has brought international prospective students through the Hesburgh International Scholars Experience. This year the Office of Undergraduate Admissions accepted the most international students to date, with students from 22 different countries.

“Two years ago, we expanded the program to include students from Europe, and this year, we invited students from Canada as well,” she said. “We are trying to give more of our top admitted international students the opportunity to visit campus and see for themselves whether Notre Dame is a place they might want to spend the next four years of their lives.”

Sophomore Paulina Rullán, an undergraduate leader for the HISE planning committee, said the diversity international students bring to campus is essential for an optimal college experience.

“Notre Dame puts a huge effort to bring the best international students and be part of our family,” she said. “This not only gives international students the opportunity to grow in another culture and have a great education from Notre Dame but it also brings diversity and makes the campus a more interesting educational institution for both faculty and students.”

Rullán said one of the events includes a meeting with University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.

“The program was created in honor of Fr. Hesburgh’s interest and passion for international students,” she said. “We have an incredible group of scholars coming to visit this year, and we thought that meeting with Fr. Hesburgh would just epitomize their visit.”

Sophomore Ignacio Aranguren, a 2011 Hesburgh International Scholar, said the HISE weekend prepared him for his time at Notre Dame.

“I remember feeling very thankful in the beginning of freshman year for HISE weekend,” he said. “It was really a great way not only to see life at Notre Dame first hand, but I was also able to meet the community that would be the essential part of my college experience.”

Aranguren said he hopes prospective students will take full advantage of the opportunities this university will offer to them.

“I hope [the Hesburgh scholars] understand how important they are to the University,” he said. “If they choose to be part of Notre Dame, they’ll be representing their family, country and culture at this school. Thanks to HISE, when they return in the fall, they’ll hit the ground running.”