International Programs

Eight students representing five countries graduate

Clark College International Programs students, faculty and staff gathered on June 8 to celebrate the graduation of eight students representing five countries: Canada, Colombia, Norway, South Korea, and Vietnam. Three of the graduating students have earned bachelor’s degrees.  

  • Chau Boi Nguyen, Vietnam, Bachelor of Applied Science, Cybersecurity  
  • Heymi Park, South Korea, Bachelor of Applied Science, Dental Hygiene  
  • Jennifer Garcia-Caro, Canada, Bachelor of Applied Science, Dental Hygiene 
  • Kiet Huang Ahn Pham, Vietnam, Associate of Science Transfer, Engineering 
  • Oeyvin Fluge Rydland, Norway, Associate of Arts, general AA-transfer
  • Sonia Talero Pachon, Colombia, Associate in Applied Science, Business Administration   
  • Justin Craig Willis, Canada, Associate in Applied Science, Business Administration   
  • Sungmin Yoon, South Korea, Associate in Arts, Studio Arts  

Jody Shulnak, associate director of International Programs and Maggie Li, International admissions manager, presented graduating students with colorful stoles representing their country’s flag. Students will wear these stoles over their robes at commencement. 

“The honor is ours to be a part of your story,” Shulnak told the students. 

International Programs provides support services and opportunities to foster a global perspective and cross-cultural competence for Clark College and the communities it serves. The program also offers an Intensive English Language program. During the 2022-23 academic year, the college had 55 international students. 

International students hear about Clark College in a number of ways. The college’s international recruitment plan includes armchair recruitment, working with agents, both virtual and face-to-face recruitment fairs, social media campaigns, print and online marketing around the world, partnering with EducationUSA, and more. In addition, many students have relatives living in Vancouver or Clark County. 

Shulnak said, “We offer holistic support for our international students. We also provide opportunities for students to study abroad for an academic term.”  

International students who are acclimating to living in a new country, culture, language environment, and college campus community, go through an intense adjustment period. Shulnak said the college community can help foster a sense of belonging for our international students by making an effort to learn their names, offering assistance, inviting them to share their perspectives, encouraging campus engagement, and generally creating a welcoming environment.  As a college, adopting a culture of inclusion will help international student retention. 

International Programs students were recognized for completing the Intensive English Language program, for receiving scholarships, being student athletes, and more.  

Some students spoke at the podium to offer their insight and advice for students who are not yet graduating. 

Jody Shulnak associate director of International Programs graduating international student Sungmin Yoon and Maggie Li International admissions manager.

“Living abroad away from your family can be very hard,” said Sonia Talero Pachon. “Check your mental health. I have friends at Clark, at my job, and outside of Clark. That’s what keeps me sane.” She added, “The unconditional support that Clark has given me made this graduation possible, and I am forever grateful for that.” 

A slideshow highlighted the program’s connections with students throughout the year, from a space to hang out in Penguin Union Building, to Sakura Festival, bowling, a Halloween party, and field trips to Port of Vancouver and the beach. 

Shulnak recognized the program’s 2022-23 International Peer Mentors, Sungmin Yoon from South Korea and Ziyad El Amrani from Morocco. The program is accepting applications for peer mentors for the 2023-24 academic year. Students need not be international students, but must be enrolled at Clark for fall, winter, and spring terms. For information, contact International Programs at or 360-992-2390. 

About International Programs:  

International Programs provides support services and opportunities to foster a global perspective and cross-cultural competence for Clark College and the communities it serves. Learn more here.  

View International Programs electronic brochure here.     

Learn about Study Abroad programs here.  

Photos: Clark College/Susan Parrish