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Meet International Alumni

Our international alumni are across the U.S. and across the globe.

Marco Franco

Marco earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2014 and his Master of Science in Biology in 2017. He is currently enrolled at Baylor University’s doctoral program in Environmental Science. Marco is originally from Escuintla, Guatemala and first enrolled at UL Lafayette as a student in the Intensive English Program.

“It is quite difficult to find the words to describe seven years of my life at UL. I was thrilled to find quite a diverse group of people when I arrived to not only the University but to Lafayette as well. This is something that, as an international student, is very valuable as the opportunity to learn from others is never-ending. Faculty, staff and classmates were fundamental for me to grow both as a student and as a person. During both my Bachelor and Master degrees, UL gave me the tools to be academically successful; I learned from remarkable mentors not only in my major field of study, but across many other disciplines. I was introduced to new ways of thinking, new perspectives and opportunities that brought me  where I am today.


Elizabeth Kolb

Elizabeth graduated in 2017 in Hospitality Management and recently completed a lodging management internship at the Walt Disney Company. Originally from Buxheim, Germany, Elizabeth served as a student assistant in the Office of University Housing, participated in the University Program Council and the Ragin’ Hospitality Association, and was selected as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of Business.

"I chose to study at UL because I wanted to experience a new culture and travel. I could not have chosen a better university for my college experience. UL Lafayette and everyone here has helped me tremendously to grow professionally and as a person throughout my college career. UL offers so many different opportunities that I found it easy to connect to fellow students and get involved. The university offers great education with very diverse options of developing yourself socially and professionally through organizations, events, and networking opportunities and seminars. However, what I value the most about UL are the people; with the southern hospitality and Cajun spirit, I immediately felt welcome and I would not be where I am today without the support and help of the students, faculty, and staff of UL. I believe that UL Lafayette is a great place to study for international students and I am a proud Ragin’ Cajun Alumni.”

Matilda Mostrom

Matilda graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is currently a doctoral student in Biological Sciences at Tulane University. Matilda came to UL Lafayette as water skier from Själevad, Sweden.

"I joined UL to combine studying microbiology and to waterski for the Ragin Cajun Waterski Team.  I never regretted my decision to join UL due to the friendly campus and invested professors. Personally, the food in Lafayette is enough to make you want to stay. My biochemistry teacher, Dr. Wu Xu, inspired me to never settle for less when it came to furthering my education because he believed in my abilities. For this, I will always be thankful when I look back at my time at UL. I participated in both the Ragin Cajun Waterski Team, as well as, the Biology Society. What I loved the most about UL was the engaged professors and the number of times I got to take classes with the same friendly students. Geaux Cajuns!"

Gustavo Venegas

Gustavo graduated in 2016 with an undergraduate degree in Hospitality Management and is currently attending HRC Culinary Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Gustavo, who is originally from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, gained experience with on-campus employment that prepared him for an internship at a local restuaruant.

"I decided to attend UL after I came visit for spring break. After spending a week in Lafayette and having witnessed the hospitality and having met some great people I knew I had to transfer and finish college there. UL is a very diverse university and very welcoming for international students, faculty and the community. I acquired many professional skills by working with the Housing Department where I started at the front desk my first semester and then moved to the office, where I finally ended up doing my internship. Throughout my college years, three of my professors from the Hospitality Management program were my biggest infulences and inspired me to achive all of my goals. Every time I had a concern, question, or doubt, I cam to them and they knew exactly what to say to get me back on track. After graduation, I worked in a local restaurant where I was the General Manager for one year. I am currently working towards achieveing another educational goal - getting my culinary arts degree. The southern hospitality that I witnessed while living in Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the things that I will always cherish. It has been, so far, one of my greatest experiences, where I got to try some of the best food and meet people from all over the world, as well as, locals who have in some way or another helped me grow professionally and intellectually. For me, it is a great honor to be a part of the Ragin' Cajun family."

Qusay Al-Ryami

Qusay graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and now works as a senior field engineer at Schulumberger in his hometown of Muscat, Oman. Before enrolling in his degree program, he perfected his English-language skills in the University’s Intensive English Program.

"My experience in college did not only prepare me for my career, but it also prepared me for how to work/deal with my colleagues at work, "soft skills" as my father calls them. I gained skills that cannot be taught in courses. Through interactions with fellow students, professors, on campus co-workers, organizations (profit & non-profit), and neighbors, I earned a "degree" in people and social skills. I recall being involved as a chairperson in 8 different official organizations (off/on campus) at once! Through it I learned that virtually nothing is impossible, all I needed was to put my mind to it and maintain positive attitude."

Xiangbo ‘Bill’ Li

Xiangbo ‘Bill’ graduated in 2016 with a doctoral degree in Computer Science and now works as a software engineer for Brightcove in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bill is originally from Longchang, China in Sichuan Province.

"People always ask, 'Why Louisiana? Why UL Lafayette?' Well, to be honest, I came to UL because of my advisor- Dr. Magdy Bayoumi, I liked his research areas, and of course also because he offered me a scholarship. I am so glad and even feel lucky that I came to Lafayette and UL because it totally changed my life. As my advisor told us at the first group meeting, 'If you just come to the U.S. for a degree, and then go back to your country, you will learn nothing. You come here also to learn the culture and spirit, and that will change your whole life.'  I couldn't agree more after staying in the U.S. for almost 7 years. Lafayette and UL is the kind of community that always welcome outsiders. If your English is not that good like me when I first got here, don't worry, people here are always willing to talk to you and make friends with you if you are open and brave enough to get out of your comfort zone. Before I came to UL, I focused only on my studies and trying to get a good job after graduation. Thanks to UL, I begin to realize that I can be more responsible, do something meaningful for this community and create some good memories here, and I did. My Ph.D. degree seemed less important to me once I graduated because I found something more important here, which will influence me for my whole life. Of course, Lafayette has became my second hometown, and I will always be a Ragin' Cajun no matter where I go.

Pang Tun Chu

Pang Tun graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is currently working as an accountant for Adidas Malaysia. Pang Tun is originally from Selangor, Malaysia and is a proud member of Ragin’ Cajuns Malaysia!

“UL Lafayette offers a conducive study environment for students and the staff and faculty have been great hosts that provide the best alumni receptions. We are always treated like members of the Ragin’ Cajun family. When I was a student, I was actively involved with International Student Council, Malaysian Student Association, and Union Program Council, as well as, the Student Government Association. From Malaysia, great thanks to all the staff in the Office of Global Engagement and the student advisors for encouraging active and valuable participation to enhance the experience for our students. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good time roll!)”