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Western Iowa Tech Community College Welcomes Students From South Korea, Brazil and Chile

Priscilla Du Preez
Western Iowa Tech Community College is currently enrolling students through the last dollar scholarship program via Future Ready Iowa, legislation that connects Iowans to the education and training for good paying jobs

A community college in western Iowa is reaching out to countries around the world and bringing international students to the area.

Terry Murrell is the president of Western Iowa Tech Community College. He says the school is the only one in North America where South Korea sends students. 

"We’re kind of the Harvard of South Korea, if you will, so if you go to any of the schools in South Korea, the hardest shirt to get is a Western Iowa Tech shirt over Harvard and some of the other schools."

This year, the school accepted 80 students from Brazil and Chile to study culinary arts and robotics. Murrell says those students are on J-1 visas, which allow them to study and work for 18 months. Then, they go back home.

Murrell spoke with River to River host Ben Kieffer about Western Iowa Tech Community College's international-student programs and about some of the college's latest news. 

Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.