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In This Week’s Interview I Talk With Amanda Helga About What It’s Like To Be An International Student at NMU


Marquette, MI  –  10/06/2019 –  If I want to go home from Marquette, I only have to travel a short 121 miles south to Menominee, MI. My interviewee this week has to travel 2,788 miles to go home to Iceland.

Amanda Helga Elvarsdóttir is a 22 year old international student from Akureyri, Iceland. She’s a Senior at Northern Michigan University studying Computer Science and minoring in Math. She’s on the NMU Women’s Club Soccer Team and she works at the international education services on campus. Amanda is from a family of six consisting of her mom, her dad, a 14 year old sister, and 10 year old twin brothers. Her entire family lives in Iceland.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Amanda over the past year, and I knew she would be perfect for an interview to see Marquette through the eyes of an international student.

What made you want to come to NMU? 

NMU has a good Computer Science program that is really up to date with today’s technology. Marquette is also just beautiful and reminds me of home.

What is the process like coming to be a student in the US?

First, you have to apply for schools and as soon as you get accepted, the university has to mail you your I-20 that tells you how long your education will take. After you get that form, you take it to the US Embassy in your country where you have to be interviewed. This interview will determine whether or not you can come to the US and study. So it is kind of a long process to get everything. The paperwork you have to get ready for the interview includes: acceptance letter, a bank statement that proves you can finance your stay, you I-20 form, and passport. It’s also quite stressful to go to the US Embassy.

What are some similarities between Marquette and where you’re from?

The weather. It’s so cold and snowy. It’s a friendly city and similar size and population as my hometown.

What are some differences between Marquette and where you’re from?

I’d have to say the people. People here are more friendly.

What qualities about Marquette do you with you could take home with you? 

The friendly people. People back home are more private and closed off.

What qualities from home would you bring to Marquette?

The thing I miss the most about home is the food. Food back home is great. Maybe that’s just my parents cooking though. My dad makes the best steaks.

Anything you recommend that you’ve watched, read, listened to, recently?  

I’ve been reading a book called “The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker that is the Iliad but from the women’s point of view.

It just goes to show that Marquette shows its beauty to everyone who interacts with it. Amanda plans to get her masters degree in computer engineering. She don’t know if she’s going to stay here or possibly go somewhere in Europe to get that degree. She does believe she’s going to live in Iceland in the future after school, but for right now shes focused on just going with the flow and living in the moment.

Check out the NMU Women’s Club Soccer Schedule here.


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