LANGUAGES: Spanish, English
MAJOR: Associate degree in business management, bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting
If you ask Juan Sebastian Jurado, he'll tell you that dedication and a smile can take a person far. Raised by a single mother, Juan was tasked with caring for his younger brother while his mother tended the family's clothing store. He learned responsibility and how to run his mother's business, eventually starting his own company.
Enrolling at UVU on the advice of a friend, Juan's newfound English language skills acquired through the University's English as a Second Language program enabled him to get work on campus. Later, he secured a customer service position in the private sector, and most recently, with much tenacity, landed a sales support job with Utah-based NuSkin.
At UVU, he is active in students clubs and as a volunteer at the Center for Global & Intercultural Engagement. The International Student Council recently noted his passion for helping others, inviting him to join the council as a full member.
"One of the things that I love about UVU, is that it gives a lot of opportunities to all students, whether they're Americans or international students," Juan said.
LANGUAGES: Korean, Japanese and English
MAJOR: International business and Japanese
South Korea’s Hyunjun Cho aspires to a career in business. With English being the lingua franca for global commerce, he enrolled in an ESL program in Utah and soon transferred to UVU after learning about its international business program. The high degree of involvement available at UVU students helped him acclimate to campus and sold him on the University.
“UVU offers a lot of programs, it’s growing fast and the professors are great,” Hyunjun said. “I thought, ‘I can stay here for my master degree.”
During the fall 2012 Global Engagement Week, Hyunjun and fellow UVU students from his native land prepared Korean sushi for over 400 guests and taught them how to dance “Gungdam Style,” á la the viral Internet sensation.
Most recently, Hyunjun secured part-time work as a translator and is among a group of South Koreans at UVU offering free Korean language classes to students in the UVU Library.
“One of my goals before I graduate is to try to add official Korean language courses at UVU,” he said.
LANGUAGES: Ukrainian, Russian, French and English
MAJOR: Behavioral Science with an emphasis in family studies
Fluent in four languages, Yulya Yevdokimova is a consummate global linguist. In her native Ukraine, Yulya earned university degrees in English and French after which she worked as an international children’s activity leader for six years.
After volunteering to teach English in Ukraine, Yulya decided that she wanted to pursue a career working with families, but lacked the degree to do so. She obtained a visa to enroll in an ESL program in Utah and in the process, discovered UVU.
Yulya praises UVU’s emphasis on engaged learning as a way to add real-world experience to classroom studies. She appreciates that faculty are willing to help and mentor students to be successful in their courses.
Through her involvement on the International Student Council, Yulya was recently granted a scholarship and will oversee student clubs at UVU. She plans to participate in a Study Abroad program to Paris within the next year.
“I feel like I’m at home at UVU,” Yulya said. “I know this is the right place for me.”
LANGUAGES: Kinyarwanda, French, Dutch and English
MAJOR: Public relations with minors in criminal justice, and peace and justice studies
Claudine Kuradusenge is not only a refugee survivor from genocide-ravaged Rwanda, she is a bright and auspicious UVU senior who wants to give back to her tribe and country.
At the age of 2, Claudine’s father died. In 1994, when the genocide began, she and her family were initially sheltered by a relative, but soon made the journey over roads filled with death to a refugee camp. Amid the chaos, and right before her eyes, her baby sister died.
“I spend my sixth birthday looking around me and hoping I was also dead,” Claudine said. “If hell exists, it looks like the refugee camp we were in.”
The day Claudine departed the refugee camp was the last day she ever saw her mother, who would be murdered three years later.
Despite of unimaginable hardships and suffering, Claudine refused to be labeled a victim, and, instead, turned toward the inspiration of education to lift herself up and ensure that her parents' deaths weren't in vain. She has continued to make personal sacrifice while exceling at UVU in her public relations studies.
“Every challenge I’ve had to overcome helped me to become a better person,” Claudine says. “Utah Valley University is helping me to achieve one of my goals, which is to gain a higher education.”