Connect with Juan

Caracas, Venezuela
International Political Studies / Multimedia Journalism

What is different about attending college at Drury than in Venezuela?

What advice do you have for new international students?

How is Drury preparing you for life after college?

Student Spotlight: Meet Juan Franco

"I have become more culturally sensitive with the incredibly diverse mix of Drury has to offer."

For Venezuela native Juan Franco, the benefits of attending Drury University outweighed the fears and concerns he had about leaving his family and life in his home country behind to come to the heart of the United States to study. The attention to details - including extracurricular opportunities, robust international student life, and exemplary academic reputation - were instrumental in helping Juan decide to attend Drury.

"I simply connected to the University even before coming here," Juan says. "I like the small and beautiful campus, appropriate class sizes, extracurricular offerings and last but not least the international student program."

A Community Within a Community

Talk to Juan for long, and you'll no doubt hear him mentioning the strong sense of community at Drury. Within that larger community, it's the community of international students from around the world that Juan is the most passionate about. The shared experience of international students leaving their home countries to study at Drury brings the group together, and Juan has emerged as one of the most prominent leaders of that group.

"I hope to leave a legacy of respect and compassion for international students and from them to the Springfield and Drury community," he says. "I firmly believe that International students must be united, especially at first since this is when we are the most homesick. Apart from that I also wish to see more international students be part of campus organizations and Greek Life, which can add a lot to your college experience."

The International Student Union, a group to which Juan belongs, adds a little something to every student's experience each year with the International Food Festival. This annual event is Juan's favorite, and past festivals are among his very favorite college memories so far.

"The International Student Union sets up a show composed of a banquet cooked by international students and performances by anyone that wishes to be part of it," Juan says. "It really brings the international community together, and it’s an opportunity to give back to the community that welcomed us."

Developing Skills for the Future

But make no mistake - Juan is an active member of many organizations on campus, including Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Student Government Association, International Student Union and College Democrats. Juan also works at the Mirror, Drury's student-run newspaper. Those collective experiences have had a vital impact on his growth and development.

"I have become very involved with several campus organizations and with this I have developed leadership skills that I will value forever," Juan says. "Apart from this I have become more culturally sensitive with the incredibly diverse mix of Drury has to offer; experiences that I will cherish forever."

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