PNW International students enjoy the region

Research shows Hoosiers are leaving Indiana in increasing numbers, but international students at PNW have found plenty of things to love about the Region.

A migration pattern study by Atlas Van Lines shows that Indiana is second only to Illinois in terms of states that people are leaving – and the percentage of people leaving Indiana has gone up since 2018. In 2022, the Atlas study showed the outbound rate was 59%, while the inbound was 41%. 

The trend does not seem to apply to the university’s 358 international students. 

I like … the environment, it’s quiet,” said Priscilla Ndukaife, sophomore from Nigeria, studying Mechanical Engineering. “The quiet environment didn’t suit me [at first] because I needed noise for balance. But slowly I began to appreciate it as it helped me study for my exams.” 

Alexander Broschek, a Chemistry sophomore from Schwörstadt, Germany, hasn’t been in the United States long, but has developed interest in the area. 

“So far, I have only been to Indiana, Illinois and Michigan,” he said. “I have to say it kind of surprised [me] how big the cities like Hammond actually are and how close they are. It has been really interesting to go to the Dunes. [That] was a nice experience.”

Jordan Degouw, freshman Cyber Security major from Alberta, Canada, thinks local hangouts make Indiana special.

“Honestly I like going to the Sip coffee shop a lot,” said Degouw. “I play hockey at the Kube sportsplex a lot, too, since I’m on the D1 hockey team. Those are places I enjoy.” 

Auzi Mahmood, a freshman majoring in Sociology from Lahore, Pakistan, also appreciates local spots.

“Coming from a metropolis, liking Northwest Indiana did sneak up on me,” he said. “Seemingly insignificant areas have such great memories for me. This connection ranges from places that are enjoyed by most locals, such as Wicker Park [in Hammond], or the psychic down the street from school, to more basic locations that gain their importance from experiences, such as the Dunkin down the street, or the Walgreens where I got my vaccine for Housing.”

However, what most appeals to Mahmood are community and connection. 

“My friends and mentors are what make Northwest Indiana more special to me than anything else,” he said. “In addition to this, it was the experiences that I had, such as Trick or Treating, which allowed me greater insight into the community that lives around campus.”