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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.