International student charmed by the Blinn-Brenham Campus

‘I knew this was the place I wanted to be,’ says Nova Scotia native Danielle Decoste

‘I knew this was the place I wanted to be,’ says Nova Scotia native Danielle Decoste

March 7, 2019

A college campus nestled in the heart of a quaint Central Texas town was all Blinn College District freshman Danielle Decoste needed to feel at home.

A native of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Decoste moved to Brenham in 2017 after frequent visits to a friend who lived in the area. The 25-year-old initially commuted to Houston to attend school, but decided the Blinn College-Brenham Campus was a better fit for her needs.

“Pictou is a small town, and Brenham really made me feel at home,” Decoste said. “After touring the Blinn-Brenham Campus, I admired its intimate atmosphere and historical structures. I knew this was the place I wanted to be.”

The Brenham Campus offers students a traditional college experience with on-campus residential housing and Brenham-exclusive programs, including athletics, agricultural sciences, and music. The Blinn-Brenham experience is further enhanced by the student activities and student life programs allowing students the opportunity to explore, learn, and develop outside the classroom.

In addition to its inviting atmosphere, Decoste appreciated Blinn’s affordability. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s CollegeForAllTexans.com, Blinn students who enroll in 30 credit hours during the 2018-19 academic year save $3,914, or approximately 42 percent, compared to state residents at the average Texas public university.

In addition to Blinn’s low tuition and fees, the Blinn Foundation offers more than 200 endowed scholarships available to incoming and returning students from a wide range of backgrounds, majors, and experiences.

“Because of my international status, going to a four-year university and paying out-of-state tuition was not ideal for me,” Decoste said. “Blinn is very affordable, and the International Student advisors worked very closely with me to make sure I have everything I needed to succeed – financially and academically.”

Although she did not encounter a language barrier, Decoste experienced her own insecurities of being in a strange place without a support system. At Blinn’s International Student Office, she received one-on-one direction about Blinn’s degree programs, immigration processes, and fellowship opportunities.

To return the favor, Decoste participated in the Spring 2019 International Student Orientation as a student panelist to share her experiences with incoming international students.

“Danielle’s insight was invaluable to our new students, and she immediately made them feel comfortable with her ability to empathize with their concerns,” International Student Program Coordinator Rachel Landolt said. “She impressed our staff with her maturity and positive attitude, and we appreciate Danielle’s willingness to assist her fellow classmates.”

Decoste is pursuing a career in nursing and hopes to enroll in Blinn’s Associate Degree Nursing Program once her core classes are completed. By touching base with her advisors and interacting with fellow nursing school graduates, Decoste feels she is on the right track to pursue a career as an emergency room or trauma nurse.

“It is not easy for international students to attend school in a foreign country with no family or friends to support us,” Decoste said. “I learned early on how important it is to stay engaged with my professors and advisors and to participate in student life. It definitely has enriched my experience at Blinn.”

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