When asked about how she chose James Madison University in America, international student Marina Mezzetti from Brazil said she saw the pictures of campus and the quad blanketed with students socializing and studying and she knew she wanted to come to JMU. “The academics here are awesome. The professors are always trying to help you be your best and do your best,” said Mezzetti. “The university has so many opportunities for you to get involved and meet new people. “ Mezzetti originally had plans to transfer to California, but once she stepped foot onto JMU’s campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia she knew she was a Duke for life.
At JMU everyone “bleeds purple” – a loyalty that is a testament to the campus spirit and welcoming environment. As a mid-sized university on 2.8km2 of land with approximately 19,700 students, JMU offers big-school opportunities with a small-school feel. Having one of the highest retention rates in its category at 91%, it is clear that students are extremely satisfied with their Madison experience.
This experience has been part of the JMU tradition for more than a century. Originally founded in 1908 as a State Normal and Industrial School for Women, JMU has grown to offer more than 100 degree programs to men and women on the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With its primary focus on the undergraduate experience, JMU offers abundant hands-on and real world opportunities to complement classroom instruction across all disciplines. As a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter member, an honor that only 10 percent of the country’s colleges and universities can claim, JMU is committed to the liberal arts and sciences and is consistently recognized for academic achievement. These recognitions have not gone unnoticed. More than 250 companies visit JMU each year to recruit students for jobs and internships.
Students find balance outside of their challenging coursework by choosing from more than 300 clubs and student organizations, Division I athletics and numerous community and cultural events year round.
More than 400 international students from 99 countries attend JMU and enjoy the services and hands on support provided for the international student community. Yana Tyan from Kazakhstan says, “I’m really happy at JMU. It is a wonderful environment with great people and academics. My favorite place is the quad – studying, walking, playing, reading, etc. I also love visiting Washington D.C.” In the coming weeks the international student community will participate in a true American tradition – attending a Washington Nationals baseball game.
Only 2 hours from Washington D.C., Harrisonburg, Virginia is nestled in the heart of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a variety of outdoor recreation and state of the art campus facilities for living and learning. Students are particularly impressed with off-campus accommodations that offer swimming pools, game rooms, fitness centers, clubhouses and free transportation to and from campus for all student complexes. Downtown Harrisonburg offers the quintessential college-town vibe with a variety of shops, restaurants and performance venues to choose from.
As an alumnus I can say with conviction that JMU is the ultimate university experience. Many schools may say it, but JMU owns it – there truly is something for everyone.