Finding out that TU rocks!
International student Rohanna Bowers has come from Jamaica to study geology
By Kyle Hobstetter on November 17, 2021
This fall, Towson University is home to 353 international students from 83 countries. Each student brings their experiences and shares their culture, strengthening the inclusivity that underpins the high-quality education TU students receive.
“We take tremendous pride in our diversity, and international students are a key part of our campus community,” says Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. “We all benefit from the different perspectives international students bring with them when they join our community.”
Towson University is proud to join the University System of Maryland in celebrating International Education Week (IEW). From Nov. 15 to 19, the International Initiatives Office will host events and programs that promote the celebration of international education and exchange.
One event being held on Thursday, Nov. 18, is the TU Global Internships Brunch. Join the Study Abroad Office in the Psychology Building, Room 407, as they host a brunch and share information about summer internship opportunities in Australia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK.
For a complete list of International Education Week events, check out the schedule through the TU International Initiatives website.
Read on to meet freshman Rohanna Bowers, who, thanks to help from the International Initiatives Office, is here to study geology.
Before she even set foot on campus, Rohanna Bowers ’24 felt welcome at Towson University.
Coming from St. Anne, Jamaica, Bowers wanted to study in America to be closer to her aunt, who had moved to Maryland more than a decade earlier. As Bowers was getting ready for the big move, she didn’t know much about TU.
Bowers admits she and her aunt constantly called and emailed the International Initiatives Office with questions—sometimes two to three times a day. Jose Infante, TU’s associate director of international recruitment & admission, always made sure she had the correct answers.
In fact, Bowers says she bonded so well with the entire International Initiatives Office staff, she came a day early so she could meet them.
“I wanted time to go faster just so I could get on campus and meet everyone,” Bowers says. “There was a student worker, Rachida [Koudjra], who gave me advice about coming to TU and tips about the interview process for my visa.
“When I finally got here, she was so happy to see me. The entire staff was just so happy I was here.”
Since the start of the fall term, Bowers says one thing that has stood out about her experience has been the people.
From her professors to her resident assistant to the other people who live on her floor in Residence Tower, everyone has gone out of their way to make her feel welcome.
The learning experience has even been personalized. As a geology major, she’s thrilled about intimate lab classes with regular intereractions with professors.
“I love my lab classes because the professors are so hands on and don’t mind it when we ask questions,” Bowers says. “The classes aren’t too big either, so you get attention from your teacher instead of just having this big lab where the professor doesn’t even know the students’ names.”
Coming to TU has also allowed her to follow her dreams. Growing up, Bowers thought that she might want to become a pediatrician, but while flipping through a science book in fourth grade, she came across a photo of a mineral rock.
That led her to learn more about geologists and what they do. She also realized she was more interested in field work than being in an office setting.
After earning an associate’s degree in natural sciences, Bowers finds herself at TU working on a bachelor’s degree in geology. And she’s already doing what she loves: working with rocks out in the field.
She’s gone on field trips where she was excited to see metamorphic rocks in the wild and not just in a test kit. Bowers happily explains that this is a big deal because in Jamaica there are mainly sedimentary rocks.
Her passion has gotten to the point where she will stop, mid-conversation, and study rocks on campus.
“I was walking with someone near the University Union, and I stopped and said, ‘Oh my god, is that a gneiss rock?’ and they just looked at me,” Bowers laughs. “I then had to explain to them that rock was [pronounced nice], and then they watched me for a half an hour, admiring the rock.”