Yannis Petrzak / Nicole Ault

Yannis Petrzak is from Austria and plans on attending Hillsdale for four years. It’s his second time vis­iting the U.S.: Last fall, he visited New Hamp­shire, Penn­syl­vania, and Michigan on a vacation.

Why did you choose Hillsdale?

I heard about Hillsdale College for the first time while looking for a place to study Eco­nomics from an “Aus­trian” view­point. Through a sur­prising act of prov­i­dence, a friend of mine from Vienna, Eugen Maria Schulak, was at the same time invited to give a CCA talk about the history of the Aus­trian School. Nat­u­rally, I decided to follow him to Hillsdale to have a first-person look at what appeared to be a very unique insti­tution. I was not dis­ap­pointed. The edu­cation offered at Hillsdale College, rooted in the long and rich cul­tural and intel­lectual western her­itage, the deeply ingrained appre­ci­ation for the christian faith, as well as the small-town charm of Hillsdale itself, sealed the deal for me. Thanks to the gen­erous financial assis­tance offered by the College and its donors, I am now able to attend this won­derful insti­tution. I feel very blessed and my grat­itude can hardly be expressed in words.

What are your interests?

I would like to connect my passion for real­istic eco­nomics with a broad and fun­da­mental under­standing of knowledge and learning itself, to grasp more fully how all the dif­ferent dis­ci­plines of sci­en­tific inquiry are con­nected, and how each can help me live a more pur­poseful, humane life. I believe that Hillsdale is the place where I can do just that and much, much more.

What are you most excited about?

To be quite frank, I am most excited about leaving Europe. This con­tinent and its moral rel­a­tivism and sui­cidal political culture can only be obstructive to any human flour­ishing. Com­pared to Europe, the U.S., with all its problems, still appears to be the “promised land.” And it def­i­nitely is the last best hope for faith and freedom, and thus civ­i­lization itself.

What will you miss most about Austria?

Very few things, besides friends and family, of course.

Carmen Botha / Courtesy

Carmen Botha was born and raised in South Africa. She will be attending Hillsdale for four years and com­peting in hurdles during that time. This is her second time in the U.S., after vis­iting a friend in Texas when she was 11.

Why Hillsdale? I chose Hillsdale because it was the best option after all the research my parents and I had done.

Interests? My interests are staying fit. I love and enjoy hunting with hounds back home; I am a great rifle shot and I love my sports. I absolutely love cooking — it’s one of my greatest pas­sions.

Do you know what you’d like to study? “I will be doing pre-med at Hillsdale. I want to be a sports injuries doctor one day.”

What are you most excited about? “I’m most excited about living in a dorm and starting mycourses. I look forward to the fan­tastic training I will receive at Hillsdale for my future ath­letic career.

What will you miss most about South Africa?

The food and culture and most of all my family — I love them all very dearly and we are very close.

What’s a fun fact about you that wouldn’t nec­es­sarily come up in con­ver­sation?

My name is pro­nounced dif­fer­ently than its spelled but I just tell everyone the easy way so they won’t get con­fused.

How do you pro­nounce your name?

“C-U-R-M-E-E-N”: the “u” sound would be the same as in umbrella/up and the “ee” the same as in been.

Kilian Trapp / Courtesy 

Kilian Trapp is from Germany and will stay for one year. He said he’s excited to be in the U.S. for the first time. He’s in his third year, majoring in English and minoring in Art History.

Why Hillsdale? I chose Hillsdale because my home uni­versity has an exchange program with Hillsdale (organised by Prof. Geyer from the German Department) and I applied for it.

Interests? I’m inter­ested in a lot of things, but espe­cially in American Lit­er­ature, so I’m looking forward to taking those classes. And I’m a really huge soccer fan.

What are you most excited about? At the moment I’m excited about almost every­thing because every­thing is so new and thrilling to me. When it comes to my studies here, I’m espe­cially excited about the American Lit­er­ature Class I’m going to take.

What will you miss most about your home country? The one (and so far only) thing (besides family and friends obvi­ously) I miss is some real bread.

What’s a fun fact about you that wouldn’t nec­es­sarily come up in con­ver­sation? I used to work as a psy­chi­atric nurse before I went to college.

Kwamboka Onchonga / Courtesy

Kwamboka Onchonga is from Kenya and will be a student here for four years. It’s her first time in America.

Interests? Fashion trends, pol­itics, food.

What do you want to study? Financial man­agement and eco­nomics

What are you excited about? Expe­ri­encing a whole new dif­ferent culture

What will you miss about Kenya? The madness, the noise, political drama, and broth­erhood.

What’s a fun fact about you that wouldn’t nec­es­sarily come out in con­ver­sation? I am allergic to pizza and I am scared of all animals.  

Editor’s note: Not all incoming inter­na­tional stu­dents could be reached for comment.