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Attending University of Kansas Teaches Colombian Student More Than Just Academics

After applying and sending out dozens of applications to U.S. colleges and universities, Piero Eugster received his first acceptance letter from the University of Kansas. Never did he think he would end up going to college there.

“When I applied to different universities from Colombia I was accepted by the University of Kansas right away as soon as they got my application and so I told my father I rather wait for a different university to accept me, something in Florida because it is close to the sea and I didn’t really want to go to Kansas because image yourself not knowing a lot about Kansas except for the wizard of oz and the fact that it is quite flat,” he says. “I didn’t find any interest in coming here so he [my father] told me you should just go there and we will see what happens and so I did. I told them I would very much like to go and then I came here to visit maybe four or five months before school had started just to see what Lawrence was like.”

Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Piero says after his first year he was able to enjoy and embrace the opportunity of being at the University of Kansas. “I have to say that since I have never gone to college elsewhere and this was my first experience I have to say that after the first year it was quite well. I had maybe a little bit of difficulty being use to all the U.S. students and being an international student I had come many times before to the U.S., but had never interacted with them as much and in time thanks to the international student orientation to which you are asked to come if you can I met some friends there from abroad just like me that are still my good friends today and I also have some good U.S. friends,” he says. “ I had perhaps a hard time doing well in classes that didn’t arouse my intellect to much, but except from that everyone was helpful. I was able to put up a soccer team together and participate in the Lawrence league where we still play and it was getting you to a change that would ultimately end up being your home for four years,” he adds. “So it wasn’t too hard after the first year.

Piero's major is Politcal Science and International Studies after starting out as a Mechanical Engineering student. He says his major now is one that he is happy with. “I was originally a mechanical engineering student. “I was very interested in it since I had always liked cars, but after spending a lot of time at the engineering school I didn’t like it, I was not good at it,” he says. “I tried to find a different major to keep on studying something here that would please me and so political science seemed a very broad major that could be applied in many different ways and since my idea has always been to go back to Colombia as soon as I am done here studying I chose that in order to be able to have another way of helping people do whatever it is that I can help them with when I am done.”

Life in Kansas has been nice as well as entertaining says Piero. The most important lesson he has learned while being in Kansas is being able to figure out where people belong in his life. “I have to say that the most important that out of every country in the world being any continent in the world there are great and there are lesser good people that you will come in contact with and you will just need to realize that you need to be able to produce some kind of structure base in order to determine if individuals are going to be good for you or in the end they are going to be able to bring something good to your life to enrich it, to teach you something about it, rather than an individual that will never really care about you and about your well being or your development of intellect in the future,” he says. “So you need to determine who will be beneficial or not for you and that is what I have been learning so far and that way I have met a lot of people that have been beneficial and others that have not.”

Piero will finish his coursework in December.