Valencia Welcomes its First Student from the Country of Georgia

Isaiah Peters, Contributing Writer

According to US & World News Report, Florida is among the top destinations for international students studying in the United States. Valencia has been a host to a multitude of international students from across of the globe. As of 2015, Valencia has students from over 80 countries. Most common students come from Brazil (176 students), Venezuela (174 students), and Colombia (64 students).

Valencia is a quite diverse college. Last semester Valencia broadened its diversity even further by accepting its first student from the country of Georgia.

Giorgi Beruashvilli,18, discussed his journey from his home country, which lies in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is on the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, with a population of 3.7 million. We had decided to interview the unintentional trailblazer of Valencia, and discuss his journey.

“It feels satisfying having to represent a population of 3.7 million. I’m a mirror of their identity, though there is an undeniable pressure that whatever I do may influence people’s opinions on Georgians.” Beruashvilli said.

Berushavilli explained how his ambitious mindset and parental support helped bring his dream to flourishant.

“I always wanted to study abroad, and I knew that the U.S. has one of the best education systems in the world. My family always supported my studies, and wanted me to get the best education possible. When I told them that I wanted to study abroad, they supported that idea. It was hard for them to see me go, but they made the sacrifices are very proud” said Beruashvilli.

Berushavilli explains what were some of the most prominent distinctions between Georgia and the US. Though English is learned nationally in Georgia, and American influence is quite prevalent. Georgia is still on the opposite side of the world and there were some major differences Berushavilli had to adapt too. He listed some of the largest differences.

“Measurements, transitioning from the metric system. The freedom is different in my country. You don’t choose your own classes and get as much freewill. People are much more friendly and accepting in the U.S. which all dramatically changes the environment. In the U.S., there is much more freedom to choose whatever career regardless of the potential pay. In my country people, don’t choose their career based on their passion, they chose it based on what makes the most money and is honorable” Beruashvilli said.

“In my country people think the U.S. is a haven, that it is perfect and is where dreams are made and I also thought that. I was thinking that the country was great, not necessarily the people. Despite my expectations, the country is normal, but the people are what make the country great,” Beruashvilli said.

Berushavilli explained his satisfaction in being a trailblazer for his peers and family for being the first one to study abroad, as well from coming from a relatively unknown country to a lot of Americans.

“My favorite part is being the envy of my friends by being the only one to leave the county, let alone going to the U.S. My favorite part is beginning a new chapter and turning a new leaf of my life. My least favorite part would have to be explaining where I’m from even to my professors, assuming it’s Russia, or the state.

Berushavilli who always wanted to only wanted to study in the US can say that he has completed his first year speaking a new language, meeting a plethora of a different diverse population, and all while everyone and everything he ever knew couldn’t be any more farther away.

Berushavilli puts into perspective his transition here with this final quote.

“I now can say that I came from a small country with big ambitions. Learning that if you really want something you must go get it, and don’t give up on your dreams” Beruashvilli said.