College is often a student’s first experience away from the comforts of home. Some attend school within their home state, while others don’t even end up in their same home country.
Angela Correa, a junior studying biochemistry, is from Columbia, which puts her about 3,550 miles from home. She hopes to move back to her home country when she and her husband, who is also from Columbia, finish school.
“I decided to come here to have a plus on my education,” Correa said. “That way, when I get back to my country, I can have more opportunities.”
Correa has been attending classes at BYU-Idaho for two years. During that time, she has only been able to visit her family about once every year.
“Being far away is not super difficult if you visit your home once a year, but more than that is difficult,” Correa said.
Correa is the oldest of three siblings. While she said it may be a while until she can see her family again, the opportunities will make it worth it.
At a university where the concept of family has such a heavy focus, it can be hard to be away from home.
Tom Dunlop, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies, is also an international student who lived even farther. He is currently in Rexburg and happily married.
Dunlop is from Hawkesbury, Australia, which is 9,746 miles away from Rexburg. He moved to Idaho when he was 19, and stayed for two years before and a year after his mission.
“I was excited to experience some American culture and have fun,” Dunlop said. “It took about a year to really start missing home.”
All of his extended family still lives in Australia, but his immediate family made a permanent move to the United States one year ago. He said that he has recently really missed his Australian home.
“I’ve visited home twice since coming,” Dunlop said. “Once about a year after arriving in the states; another a year after that. I served my mission in Texas, and haven’t been home since.”
Less than 1% of students here at BYU-I are from foreign countries. While that may seem low, it adds up to a total of 1,640 students from 80 different countries.
From freshmen experiencing college for the first time to international students coming to school in America, anyone can relate to being homesick. Hopefully, BYU-I can become a home away from home.