Last year Fairmont State University welcomed its Study Abroad program back to campus. The Study Abroad program allows Fairmont State students to travel to international universities to study and allows international students to visit Fairmont State to study. Twenty-three-year-old Nicholas Granata is one such student, from the University of Calabria in Italy.
“My goal was to come to the United States to study and I chose Fairmont State University because it offered courses that interested me and I liked the safe and welcoming campus,” said Granata.
Granata is enrolled in the University of Calabria’s Masters of Digital Document Management and Preservation program. This program prepares students to implement and administer enterprise-wide document management systems and related procedures that allow organizations to capture, store, retrieve, and share electronic records and documents.
“Studying abroad has allowed me to experience a new culture, and gain a new perspective of the world,” said Granata. “Coming to Fairmont State has helped me to become more adaptable and independent, and has pushed me to go outside my comfort zone.”
During his semester at Fairmont State, Granata will be working in the Ruth Ann Musick Library managing historic collections that will be available online and publicly accessible. These include the medical history of the local area, Fairmont State's folklore publications, and the Fairmont State Masquers Town and Gown programs. These will be used as reference work for anyone researching student archival material, publications, or local medical history.
“During my time here at Fairmont State I’ve made new friends from all over the world and I have also acquired new professional skills,” said Granata. “Being an international student is a unique and rewarding experience that has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and has made a positive impact on my future career opportunities.”
Granata is a part of the handful of new international students that have been welcomed to campus now that international travel has resumed as normal post-pandemic. The Coordinator for Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students (EPICS), Sarah Sakaguchi describes her excitement at being able to welcome new students like Granata to campus again.
“We as a campus community are so thrilled to welcome Nicholas and other international students to our campus. Opening the door for J-1 visa students to come to Fairmont State is an opportunity for these students to experience West Virginia and U.S. culture, as well as an opportunity for our students to interact with students of diverse cultures,” said Sakaguchi. “The students we have welcomed this academic year have positively contributed to our campus community and classroom discussions. These students give me hope for a flourishing future for Fairmont State and West Virginia as a Study Abroad location.”
To learn more about EPICS and the Study Abroad program visit www.fairmontstate.edu/internationalstudents.