I’ve never written a blog post before, and I’m unsure as to how one should begin. So I’ll just start by saying, “Hello.” My name is Jennifer Knupp. I am the “new/old” International Student Programs Coordinator at Oxford. Old because I came to Oxford in 2010 as the very first International Student Advisor on campus. That year marked the largest number of international students ever to enroll at Oxford. International students represented over 23% of Oxford total student body in 2010! I was thrilled be a part of the Oxford community at such an exciting time in the College’s history. I felt I had landed my Dream Job working with bright, enthusiastic students and dedicated faculty and staff members who really and truly put everything they have into making Oxford a supportive community for teaching and learning. And of course the beauty of the campus and its idyllic surroundings make Oxford the quintessential small liberal arts college campus. Sadly, it came to an end to soon. In the spring of 2011 I had to leave. My husband’s work took us out of state.
But as luck would have it now I’m back! As of June 2013 I’m back in my role as advisor to international students at Oxford. I’ve got a new title and a new office this time, but the joy of being a part of this community doing work I love is just as strong as ever.
Over the last three years Oxford has maintained its position as a choice campus for international students who want a liberal arts education. This fall international students make up about 20% of our student community representing diverse nations and cultures. The community has fully embraced this new diversity by adapting to new learning styles, adjusting teaching strategies, expanding dining options, supporting new student organizations, offering new programs and services all to support our international students and to enrich the Oxford experience for all students.
But really, what I am the happiest about being back at Oxford is working with Oxford students again. My international students are intelligent and witty, driven and earnest. They are open to experiencing the unknown. They are optimistic and so very brave. I am constantly inspired by them. Seeing their courage and passion and achievements pushes me to do more and be better. This is why I love Oxford.