Former international student reflects on time at Marshall University

While traveling to a new country can create a combination of excitement and anxiety, one former Marshall University student said choosing to travel from the United Kingdom to study in Huntington will stay with him forever. 

“One of the best choices I have ever made was going to Marshall,” James Bedford said.

“Marshall was in a state I’d never visited: beautiful West Virginia. The location seemed awesome sitting right next to the Ohio River. The campus seemed cozy and all together which was a plus. Apart from that, I kind of winged it and hoped for the best.”

Some international students only come to the United States to study for one semester.  Many of those who choose Marshall do not regret that choice, Bedford said. 

Despite being in a new area of the world, Bedford said the people and activities at this university are the beauty of Marshall.   

“The people I met and the friends I made was amazing,” Bedford said.  “Secondly, the number of organized clubs, sports events and extra-curricular activities either student ran, or the university organized. They add boat-loads to the university experience and are awesome for getting to know people and make friends.”

Bedford highlighted that some of the main activities he has enjoyed at Marshall included events with the Recreation Center.

“It was fantastic being so close to the Rec Center and allowing me to train and play on the badminton team three times a week,” Bedford said. “I traveled to WVU, Morgantown with the team to play some friendly but competitive games against WVU.”

Other clubs such as Habitat for Humanity and Huntington Campus Collective left major impressions on Bedford. 

“It meant a lot that I had the opportunity to offer my time and help the people of Huntington (with Habitat for Humanity),” Bedford said. “And God is working hard in Huntington, and HCC is proof. Worshiping there, being challenged every Tuesday night at Campus Collective and truly becoming closer to God left a huge impression on me.”

Although Bedford’s intentions were to stay for only one semester, he said he wished he could have invested in another semester at the university.

“It felt like my time at Marshall was cut short,” he said. “It would have been fantastic to cultivate more lasting relationships and be able to give back to Huntington.” 

Bedford also said that students should not think less of Marshall just because it is surrounded by a smaller city compared to other universities.

“If I were tell people anything about Marshall, it’s that don’t judge book by its cover,” Bedford said.  “Small town and forgotten state doesn’t mean a thing. The short time that I spent at Marshall will stay with me forever.”

Aaron Dickens can be contacted at [email protected]