By Jessica Miller and Christopher Hastings
July 13, 2020

The world has transformed into a global neighborhood.  Gone are the barriers of time and space. We are more connected than ever before. As a member of the global community, Southwest Tennessee Community College is proud to have students who hail from near and far. 

We truly appreciate the unique value international students and those who speak English as a second language add to the Southwest family. Southwest is better because students from different countries and cultures are a part of us.

Today’s political climate is tumultuous. COVID-19 is a real threat. These stressors, along with the national conversation surrounding access to higher education for international students, may be causing some students immense anxiety.  We understand and support our international students and want them to remain a part of the Southwest family. We firmly believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue their dreams and we are honored to be a part of every student’s journey.

For those international students needing a listening ear in recent days, our mental health counselor Julia Rhea has been reaching out to them to offer support. Students who would like to speak with her may make an appointment via email at  Students experiencing social emergencies, such as food or housing insecurity, Southwest social services counselor Chauntay Harris can help connect students in need with the Southwest Foundation or other local agencies that provide emergency assistance.  Ms. Harris may be reached at Both counselors also are available for virtual sessions on Microsoft Teams. In addition, Admissions Director Annie Moss and the Southwest Academic Advising Office are available to help students ensure their class schedule meets state and federal requirements.

While at Southwest, we invite every student to reimagine your home. No matter where you are from, Southwest is your home away from home and know that we are here for you during this difficult time. To ensure we stay connected, the College will launch a new series of virtual events for the International Students Club called First Fridays beginning Friday, September 7.  There, students will meet faculty, staff and fellow Saluqis from abroad to share stories, ideas and fun activities.  Be on the lookout for details in the coming weeks.

Until then, enjoy your summer, keep the faith and know that Southwest is here for you.


Jessica Miller, International Studies Coordinator
Christopher Hastings, ESL Coordinator and International Student Club Co-Advisor

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