Global Paths Unite

Global Paths Unite: Diverse Journeys of International Students Flourish at RSCCD

YuanYuan SCC International Student_1.jpgIn the vibrant landscape of El Salvador, Gracia​​ Maria Castillo-Góchez's journey began, shaped by her homeland's rich culture. Long known as an international destination for volcanoes, surfing, and world-famous coffee, it was no surprise that Castillo-Góchez developed a passion for international business and trading. She earned a scholarship to Oral Roberts University for International Business where she had the opportunity to explore roles in finance and insurance, before completing her master's in business administration in Madrid, Spain. Eventually Castillo-Góchez felt compelled to explore a career in the construction industry, and reconnected with her sister in California to embrace a new chapter of discovery and growth. Enticed by her sister's recommendation and Santa Ana College's renowned International Students Office, Castillo-Góchez enrolled and began studying Civil Engineering and Construction Management.

“Unlike my experiences at other institutions, SAC's responsiveness has been remarkable – a feeling echoed by fellow international students who have also benefited from the prompt and caring assistance provided by SAC's ISO staff," said Castillo-Góchez.

In the bustling corridors of SAC's International Center, Tina Newton stands as a pillar of support and guidance. As the director of the Center, Tina is deeply committed to the success and well-being of every international student.

"My educational journey and thorough understanding of the challenges students encounter abroad drive me to foster a nurturing environment at SAC. We aim to create a place where every student feels supported and embraced. Together, through dedication and advocacy, we cultivate a vibrant community where academic excellence and a profound sense of belonging merge seamlessly," said Newton.

Gracia SAC International Student.jpg

Similarly, Yuanyuan Zhou, arrived in the U.S. from Guangzhou, China, in July 2022 and quickly discovered Santiago Canyon College's (SCC) International Student Program. Recalling her experience, Zhou notes, "I found SCC in China with my agency's help." She added, “the teaching system in the U.S. is very different from that in China." These differing approaches, she highlights, provided valuable opportunities for learning and connecting with fellow international students.

At Santiago Canyon College (SCC), under Jetza Torres, Director for the International Student Program, the International Student Program Center serves as a vibrant hub for students worldwide. With students from 27 different countries, the Center plays a significant role in fostering cultural exchange and support.

“International students enrich our community with their unique perspectives and talents. At our Center, we don't just provide guidance; we create a home away from home, where dreams are nurtured and friendships blossom. As someone who once walked in their shoes, I understand the challenges they face, and it's our commitment to offer excellent support that drives us forward," said Torres.

As Castillo-Góchez reflects on her experience at SAC, she acknowledges its pivotal role in her academic and personal growth. She affirms, "SAC has been an exceptional support system for me as an international student. From the moment I arrived, I felt welcomed and embraced by all the staff and the many services provided by the International Students Office."

Learn more about RSCCD's International Students Program at SAC and SCC.

Contact: Clara Oscarson

Phone: (714) 480-7313