I thought you might enjoying hearing from Dario Martinez, who is a Loyola graduate and a member of our admissions team.
Dario is a native of Honduras and he brings the experience of having been an international student to his work. So, he provides some great knowledge to all students. Here is our Q and A session:
New Orleansand Latin America seem to have some things in common. How do you think they are connected?
New Orleans and Latin America have many things in common. Both areas have a rich Spanish heritage. You can still see this influence in the Spanish architecture of the houses, the names of the streets, and the beautiful historical monuments and buildings. For example: Bourbon Street (a very famous street among locals and tourists) got its name from Borbon, a very popular last name in Spain.
Also, New Orleans has a very diverse population and Latinos are one of the biggest ethnic groups in the area. You can find restaurants, newspapers, radio stations, and even TV channels that target the Hispanic community. Some of my favorite restaurants offer Mexican, Central American and Brazilian food.
What did you like most about being a student at Loyola?
What is great about Loyola is that it gives its students a great number and variety of opportunities. As a student, I joined a fraternity, played intramural sports, tutored statistics, and actively participated in academic and community service organizations. Our students really benefit from the many real life experiences that are available to them because they can meet people from all over the world, hone leadership skills, and learn how to make a difference in their own communities.
What are some of the things international students do to become connected to the Loyola community?
Loyola’s International students feel as they are part of our tight-knit community and that is why they are very active in our campus. You can see our students building houses for the poor, teaching the elders how to read, writing for the Maroon or competing at a national level in their academic organizations. In their free time they practice a sport, host a show in our radio station or play in a band.
Loyola even has a Center for International Education (CIE) that organizes different activities to help students to become aware of the different cultures. One of my favorite activities is the International Country Fair because people have the opportunity of tasting food from different parts of the world and learning about other cultures. The CIE also coordinates the exchange programs for our students and it helped many of my friends to go abroad to Spain, China, London, and other locations.
How would you describe the expertise and commitment of Loyola business faculty?
Students have the opportunity of learning from very successful and knowledgeable people. Unlike other schools, you are taught by professors that have won awards, published books, and have done extensive research projects. Some of our professors have worked for the NASA, consulted for Fortune 500 companies, and even won Emmy awards!
Another of Loyola’s competitive advantages is that it provides its students with a lot of personal attention. Professors not only challenge you intellectually but they are also there when you need them. My professors knew me by name and many of them even invited me to lunch at their houses. That rapport definitely helped me to feel confident that they were always there for me if I had a question.
Finally, Loyola faculty members make a point of making you aware of the different opportunities available for you and share the knowledge that they have acquired through their professional experiences with you. For example, the students in the College of Natural Sciences have the opportunity of working side by side with our faculty members in different research projects. During those projects, professors not only teach students on the research process but they also provided them with a fresh perspective of the different career opportunities available for them in the science field.
What were some of things you enjoyed about your fellow students and classmates?
My college experience was much more than learning concepts and memorizing formulas. At Loyola, I had the opportunity of meeting very interesting and smart students from all the 50 states and 48 countries. Their personality traits, values, and ideas broaden my understanding of the world and added value to our class experience. I always enjoyed the class discussions because students provided their own perspective on things and they came up with fresh new solutions to the problems that were discussed in class.