Global Raiders: Bahamian student ‘True Blue&...

Global Raiders: Bahamian student ‘True Blue’ for life after experience at MTSU

Mark Darling (Photo: Submitted)

I would like to say that I embarked on my journey here at MTSU before I stepped foot on campus. It all started my senior year of high school when I spoke to an International Recruiter from MTSU at a college fair in The Bahamas. It was at that moment I knew MTSU would be my school of choice. Currently, I am a junior majoring in Actuarial Science, with a minor in Data Science, and I am proud to be an International Student Ambassador.

Over the five semesters that I have been attending MTSU, there have been a lot of distinct features that continue to prove that MTSU was the correct choice for me.

I love the staff and faculty at MTSU. From my experience, the international office has always been supportive. I’ll always remember the story of when I changed my major to Actuarial Science. I decided that I wanted to make this change just two days before my flight to Tennessee. In particular, I remember emailing the international office expressing how I hoped this wouldn’t affect my acceptance. Immediately, I received an email highlighting that my acceptance into MTSU was much more than my choice of study, which reassured my choice. The staff of MTSU has also always been a delight for me. Sometimes I wish I could retake classes to have some of my old professors again.

I love the countless number of activities, and organizations MTSU has to offer. I didn’t experience culture shock coming to MTSU, due to the United States’ influence on The Bahamas, but those who are in fear that they will, should not worry. MTSU offers a lot of opportunities that can help you bridge this cultural gap, and in turn, make new friends. I took advantage of this and joined clubs like Gamma Iota Sigma where I am the Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Student Society for International Education, Bahamian Student Organization, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, and many others. The International Office also promotes an event called Conversation Partners, which allows you to interact with other international students and as a bonus get free food. Through this, I was given the opportunity to be assigned to an American family, which was a great experience, and would be great for those who feel homesick or are scared to leave their family.

I love the resources and the facilities MTSU has to offer. In particular, there are two that stand out to me. As a student whose major is rooted primarily in mathematics, English was never a subject that I particularly enjoyed. However, for those papers, the University Writing Center (UWC) was always a great resource to access. The UWC is a great resource offered to all students for any class and I suggest you visit it at least once. For someone like me who has always played every sport in high school, it was impressive to see MTSU’s Campus Recreation Center. There was a facility for every sport I love, a swimming pool which reminded me of my days swimming competitively, indoor basketball courts, and an indoor soccer court.

My journey here at MTSU has not always been the easiest, but I don’t think I would have liked to attend anywhere else. MTSU has allowed Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to be a place I consider my second home and has given me much more than a college education. I am True Blue for life!

Contributing writer Mark Darling is majoring in Actuarial Science. He is part of the International Student Ambassador program that was launched in the Fall of 2020 by the Office of International Affairs. Ambassadors mentor incoming international students to help them adjust to the United States and give advice about getting involved on campus and how to be successful at MTSU.