For international student, having two roomies no big deal

NEOSHO Mo.

Living in a foreign land isn’t always easy.

There are a number of challenges to overcome, not least being the language barrier. This is especially rocketed to the forefront when attending college classes taught in a tongue not your own.

So for international Crowder College student Hyun Jin, sharing a room with two other guys doesn’t rank all that high on his list of concerns.

The 25-year-old South Korean is one of more than 30 Crowder students living in tripled up rooms on campus this fall. A sharp spike in enrollment has caused somewhat of an overcapacity issue at the dorms.

Jin is already a university graduate, but came to Crowder from Korea to further his English skills. In fact, that’s all he’s studying. For two months he attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, but left that institute for Crowder because he said it was too expensive and there were “too many Koreans” at Case Western. That posed a problem for someone trying to learn English but was always hearing his native language instead and being tempted to use it exclusively.

In Korea, Jin had his own room in the house he shared with his parents and brother. But he said he’s used to dorm life from his time at other schools. And bunking with two roommates rather than just the typical one doesn’t bother him. They’re “really nice guys” he said.

Besides, Jin said he prefers Crowder’s living arrangements to those he’s known on other college campuses.

“It’s really better than other dormitories I’ve stayed in,” Jin said. “It’s cheaper and much nicer than the other places.”

Those are certainly the objectives Crowder officials have tried to meet at least, more so in light of the overcrowding issue.

New furniture lofts, desks and dressers was bought for the rooms that were to be tripled up. Also, students placed with two roommates (based on date of deposit) were given a $235 housing fee discount.

The tripled rooms there are currently 11 spread throughout are typically set up with bunk beds and a loft. The bunk beds can be made into singles. Because the extra dresser and desk are stashed under the loft, there isn’t much of a space difference with double-occupancy rooms, according to student life coordinator Christina Smith.

Coupled with the price reduction, Smith said no one is really complaining.

“Some people were upset about being tripled until they got here and moved in,” Smith said. “If they’re unhappy, they haven’t expressed it too much. I think the parents are more concerned than the students are, because we really are taking good care of them.”

Crowder’s dorms are made up of 14 houses with six rooms apiece and two houses with three rooms each. Double occupancy capacity is 180. At the end of the summer, there were about 240 students signed up to live on campus. There aren’t as many now.

Smith said that is because some students stay for only a day or two and then get homesick. Others reserve a room in advance and then not end up enrolling at Crowder.

She said the college is gradually untripling the rooms. Again, based on date of deposit.

But if trends stay on track, Crowder’s student population will continue to increase annually, making overcapacity an ongoing problem each year. That’s one of the reasons Crowder president Dr. Alan Marble put building new dorm houses on his objectives list for the college.

Smith agreed that would be the real solution. But for now, she said, students don’t seem to be turning down Crowder as a school option because of tighter living space.

“I don’t think we’ve lost anybody because of the tripling up,” Smith said. “That was a concern at first. But I think the quality of the dorms overrides everything else. When you see how nice they are, it’s worth being in a tripled room just to be in a nice homelike environment.”

– Associated Press



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