Simen W. Johansen from Norway had dreamt of going to school in the US for years. He was looking for a great education, of course, but also to grow his skill in his favourite sport, football. Johansen and his parents had been looking for the perfect school for some time before they found the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI).
Encouraged by the quick, informative response from the admissions department, his mother Caroline Wendelborg Johansen had no doubt that NMMI was the school for him. “Even through these difficult and uncertain times with COVID-19, we maintained close contact with the school. They were so supportive in helping us get the right papers for our special visa application when the embassy was closed here in Norway,” she shares.
The young Johansen travelled from Oslo to Roswell alone — the first step in his journey towards independence. His mother relates how Cristhina Starke, NMMI Director of International Affairs remained available on the phone throughout the 45-hour trip, providing both parents and son with peace of mind at all times.
His parents back in Norway received a picture as soon as Johansen reported at the military academy. Now, they are looking forward to supporting their son through his sports journey when football season resumes in spring 2021. “Our son Simen tells us this is the best decision of his life so far. He loves the strict structure on campus, as well as always knowing what is expected of him and what to do to succeed,” his mother says with pride.
Smooth transition from South America
Young people from all over the world are attracted to the New Mexico Military Institute for more than its rigorous academic and physical education. From high school to junior college, students engage in opportunities to learn, grow, and lead among a diverse cohort. Approximately 19% of cadets come from 33 countries outside the US, including Ukraine, South Korea, Egypt, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Adapting to life abroad is facilitated by routine and discipline, which are expected of all students. As a parent, Milton Brandt from Brazil was concerned about how his son Bruno would adapt to attending an American high school. It would be his first time away from home, alone, and for an extended period of time. It turns out that he had nothing to worry about, especially with the level of support NMMI provides to new students and parents.
“The international department opened their doors for him to express his fears and concerns and it was quite helpful to make his transition smooth,” Brandt tells. “Since the first contact, all the attention received, the clarity in terms of information provided and the way the school visit was organised made us feel very special and that they really cared about us.”
“Since he joined NMMI he has improved a lot in terms of being more responsible and developing his leadership skills. Currently, he is part of the cadre at the school and I believe it is a unique experience for him,” Brandt says. Encouraged by his personal development in high school, his son decided to stay on at NMMI for junior college.
From the Middle East to the Southwest
At NMMI, students learn lessons that are universally applicable and relatable, which prepares them to build a life and career anywhere they choose. Graduates have used their knowledge and skills to break into business, industry, public service, education, and the military.
Cairo University Professor Ali Sawi is the proud father of Saged Elsawi. He recalls sending his son off to NMMI, saying, “Imagine a 16-year-old, first time overseas from Egypt, adapting to a completely different culture, language, and environment, at a school that has an outstanding reputation and demanding expectations. We expected changes over time but what we experienced were dramatic changes in the first month.”
Professor Sawi credits this to the support and guidance Saged received, even before he touched down in New Mexico. “It was clear to me that the institution, faculty, staff, and students at NMMI drove our son to rise to the challenges with their exceptional programmes,” he testifies.
Among the programmes are the English Language and American Culture Programme, which allows fresh cadets to build the skills they need to succeed in the US, no matter where they come from. Why is this important? Simply because at the New Mexico Military Institute, strength is found in diversity. These cadets from Norway, Brazil, and Egypt found their place here, and now you can too. Apply today to follow in their footsteps.