Indonesian students in attendance at Shoreline’s international student orientation for spring quarter got a surprise Mon., March 23 when U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake made an appearance at the college.
Ambassador Blake stopped by Shoreline as part of an outreach tour and spent over an hour meeting with Indonesian students and their families, as well as with Shoreline President Cheryl Roberts and members of the Board of Trustees.
Ambassador Blake praised Shoreline’s reputation within Indonesia and revealed that his visit to the campus came recommended by his staffers, who noted Shoreline’s significant population of students from the island nation.
The Ambassador also revealed that community colleges hold a special place in his heart. His wife came to the United States from Bulgaria at the age of 18 and attended community college in New York before transferring to Brown University.
“I firmly believe her experience in community college gave her the confident start she needed to get her where she is today,” Ambassador Blake said. “The role community colleges play in student success and learning simply cannot be overstated.”
“It’s little known,” he continued, “but students stand a better chance of getting into their dream college if they transfer in from a community college with a great reputation such as Shoreline, than if they apply straight out.”
President Roberts noted the historical ties Shoreline has with recruiting students from Indonesia, and said “We couldn’t be more honored that Ambassador Blake chose to visit with us today. It’s a reflection on our commitment to fostering rich relationships with our Indonesian students and their families.”
After opening remarks by Diana Sampson, Executive Director of International Education, and brief addresses by President Roberts and Ambassador Blake, current Shoreline students from Indonesia sang the Indonesian national anthem, “Indonesia Raya.”
Around 8,000 students from Indonesia attend college in the U.S., and of those about 2,500 attend community colleges. Shoreline currently enrolls about 130 students from Indonesia.