Last Updated: February 6, 2022, 9:02 pm

International student enrollment continues to rise


This semester was very successful for Dixie State University in terms of gaining more international students. Laiba Ali a senior English major from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, Shakhnoza Rakhimova a junior, English major from Bukhara Uzbekista, Karen Salvador, junior English major from San Salvador, El Salvador are all sitting together on campus. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

Dixie State Univerity continues to diversify its campus with 49 new international students enrolled for the 2022 spring semester. 

Three of the 49 new students attending DSU are Shakhnoza Rakhimova, Karen Salvador and Laiba Ali. All three of these students are either a part of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) or UGRAD-Pakistan. 

UGRAD is a government-sponsored program that issues one-semester scholarships to outstanding students from around the world. During this semester these students not only have a full-time class schedule, but they also participate in community service, professional development and cultural enrichment. 

Rakhimova is a junior English major from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. 

“Such cities like Bukhara (my hometown), Samarqand and Khiva are more than 2,500 years old, Uzbekistan used to be located on the Silk Road, so it is a place with great history,” Rakhimova said. “The country is famous for its majestic architecture and delicious food.” 

Rakhimova is a staff member for the Southern Quill. The Southern Quill is a journal published by DSU that shares fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and visual arts from writers and artists in the Mountain West. She has loved the experience and looks forward to continuing to learn more about English literature through submissions to the journal. 

Rakhimova has loved her time at DSU so far. The balance between fun and school has been one she’s enjoyed seeing and finding for herself. 

“So far I am amazed by people here, everyone is very helpful and kind,” Rakhimova said. “I also like how students are active in both their academic and social lives.” 

After her semester at DSU, Rahkimova will continue her schooling at Bukhara State University. She plans to get her M.A. in English and Literature and then wants to start scientific research for a Ph.D.

Salvador, a junior English major from El Salvador, hopes to enhance her abilities in the English language during her time at DSU. She hopes to be an English teacher back home, so she’s using this time to learn as much as possible in order to be a better teacher. 

Salvador describes her home country as one full of passion, beauty and coffee.

“My home country is El Salvador. It is a beautiful country located in Central America. We are an agricultural country; we heavily depend upon coffee exports. As Salvadorans, we love coffee and we are extremely passionate about our typical food such as pupusas, empanadas, yuca frita, and much more,” Salvador said. Salvador also speaks highly of the folksy music and the community activities.

Salvador said her transition to DSU was a smooth one, “I have felt so welcome and safe that my transmission to Dixie has not been hard, I feel more blessed and excited every day for being here.” 

She hopes to get a job as an English teacher in El Salvador after graduating, and eventually return to the states to get a Master’s degree. 

Ali is a senior English major from Pakistan. Initially, her transition to DSU was rocky, but over time she has found herself getting more comfortable.

“My professors have been very cooperative and welcoming, and my roommate is super sweet,” Ali said. “Sometimes I miss my family and friends, but I am liking DSU in general, it’s beautiful.”

Before coming to DSU, Ali was attending a university in Pakistan. She describes the education system in Pakistan as “a bit messed up,” but is hoping and striving for positive change in the institution. 

Ali hopes to continue her education and eventually get a Master’s degree. She also loves to write and plans to pursue that passion. 

These are just a few of the wonderful international students currently attending DSU.