A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

“International Stories: Journeys To, During, and After Earlham”

About the Project

This Oral History project aims to collect some of the unique stories of Earlham’s international alumni – to emphasize how they came to Earlham, their experiences at Earlham, and their journeys since graduating from Earlham.

Earlham College is known for its large percentage of international students and it does not take long to notice and be amazed by the diverse cultures and backgrounds present on campus. Anyone who has spent some time in the Earlham community knows that every one of these students has a story to tell. Therefore we aim to provide a kind of platform for collecting and sharing these stories.

Parts of this project focus on the struggles international students face when coming to the U.S. from their respective countries and what it means to be an international student in the U.S. Other parts focus more on what it means to go to a small liberal arts college and the different as well as similar experiences we have as students here. We are further connecting this to the experience of working for the Events Office and/or being involved with student events at Earlham and how that plays into the respective stories. This part highlights how much more there is to going to college than just the classroom. That the background stories of the students and their ‘outside of the classroom’ relationships also play a part in this community.

There is a lot more to be said about these stories, but I will leave that to be communicated through the actual interviews…

Written by

Annika Hirmke is a senior at Earlham College, studying Physics and Peace & Global Studies. She is an international student at Earlham, originally coming from Germany. Throughout her time at Earlham she has held several different work positions and has been engaged in the community in different ways. Through those experiences she has learned more and more about the paths of international students and how they engage with Earlham as an institution and a community, which can be different from domestic students. Therefore, she has always paid attention to how international students at Earlham find and shape their community here at Earlham and is looking to explore this further with this project.

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