Hastings College welcomes students from 26 countries with flag-raising ceremony

Local4 News at 5
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 5:43 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (NCN) - Hastings College is welcoming its international students one flag at a time.

The college hosted its international flag raising at Steinhart Plaza on Tuesday. It’s a meaningful moment for Kiante Stuart, a recent graduate from The Bahamas who now works as the college’s international admissions and engagement counselor.

“It’s only a small gesture to show that you are a part of this campus and this campus welcomes you,” Stuart said. “They welcome your country and we hope to have more students coming from their countries.”

There are 19 students from The Bahamas enrolled at Hastings College this year, the most of any foreign country. Jr. actuarial science major Kyle Collins is among them and was initially drawn to campus by a scholarship program.

“Then I came here, I never saw snow before,” Collins said. “I really loved the block schedule, I loved the close, small student to teacher ratio. It really encouraged me to come here.”

In total, Hastings College has 70 international students from 26 different countries. Collins says the school’s diversity enriches the experience.

“It allows you to expand yourself and see all kinds of different walks of life,” Collins said. “Sometimes you don’t know what things are different, and you don’t even know that there could be things that could be different, until you interact with those people.”

The flags will fly at Steinhart Plaza all year long, helping international students to feel at home.

“It makes me so happy knowing that I can look at The Bahamas flag and say, ‘wow, I got a piece of home right here with me in Nebraska.’ So I think that’s the feeling I get when I walk past my flag, a sense of pride, a sense of joy, and truly a sense of peace, actually,” Stuart said.