Student Profiles

Current Students

Luzan JadKarim
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Class of 2020
Biology & Neuroscience

After deciding to attend Coe College for its safe environment, various opportunities, and friendships, Luzan was interested to discover that language was not a real barrier on this campus: "everyone is accepting and understanding if they choose to be. Simple acts of kindness go a long way, and the way Coe's community welcomes international students is more than proof that kindness has no barrier."

Luzan does have some words of warning for incoming international students: "The weather in Cedar Rapids has major mood swings." Given that Coe College is based in the Midwest of the United States, the weather generally fluctuates from very hot weather to very cold weather depending on the season. A day to day change in temperature can surprise some international students, so Luzan advises incoming students to "pack a proper wardrobe." Keep in mind that Coe College's climate allows for all seasons. Cedar Rapids's beautiful changing scenery of colorful fall leaves to glistening fields of snow to freshly bloomed flowers is an image well worth any temperature changes.

Luzan JadKarim

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and be able to study what I love in an environment that I love. I've been able to experience so many different and new things that I honestly did not think were for me. I've also discovered so many hidden passions and interests that I never thought I had. I hope that my journey here continues being the positive and enlightening experience that it's been."

Malena Berchot
Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Class of 2019
International Business & Public Relations

Malena transferred to Coe after getting her Associate's degree at Otero Junior College in Colorado. Coe's scholarships and impressive business program is what convinced Malena to come to Coe, but its community is what convinced her to stay: "Everyone here is super kind and nice. It's hard to find a place with such a pleasant environment and a home kind of feeling."

For any international students, Malena has some advice: "Get involved!" She recommends including yourself in different organizations in order to meet new people and experience all the events Coe's campus has to offer. Malena is an international student who has joined a campus sorority: "It can be hard starting all over again in a new place where you don’t know anyone. I joined TriDelta and I made a lot of friends!" Many international students forget that there are various clubs and organizations that they can join at Coe. For Malena, joining a sorority gave her a family away from home.

Malena Berchot

"Everyone here is super kind and nice. It's hard to find a place with such a pleasant environment and a home kind of feeling."

Evgeny Pakhomenko
Moscow, Russia
Class of 2019
Economics & Business

Since being at Coe, Evgeny has learned to embrace the changes that living in a different environment and being in college has to offer. Not only is the food and time scheduling dissimilar, but Evgeny was also surprised to find that the teaching styles at Coe are much different than that of his home country: "The students at Coe are encouraged to work more outside of class and work together in a group setting. I found this way of learning to be a better reflection of real life, which is extremely helpful." This, added with the fact that he is living without his parents, has made him an overall more responsible person.

Evgeny also loved the way in which international students were allowed to set up their courses. While most students at colleges sign-up for their courses online, Evgeny and other international students meet individually with professors at Coe in order to get an idea of which classes they would like to enroll in: "I remember all the excitement that I was feeling prior to my first semester at Coe! Meeting with the professors to look at all the available courses was so helpful and added even more excitement to the entire situation. Even better, I definitely picked all the right courses for me!"

Evgeny Pakhomenko

"My advice is not to be afraid to ask questions. During my first couple weeks at Coe I was a little bit shy, and I didn't ask that many questions. However, people here are very welcoming and are always willing to help. So, if you are unsure about something or need some guidance, just ask!"

Mai Le
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Class of 2018
Managerial Accounting & Business Administration

Mai loves Coe not just for its campus, but also for the city that surrounds it. As Iowa’s second largest city, Cedar Rapids is a hotbed of fun and activities! Coe College is located on the main drag of Cedar Rapids; therefore, the heart of Cedar Rapids is easily accessible. Mai loves exploring new restaurants around the city with her friends. Places like Newbo City Market and Phong Lan Restaurant are highly recommended! Though there are various activities to participate in throughout Cedar Rapids, Mai still describes it as a "peaceful city" that she loves to be a part of.

As an international student, Mai sees it as her duty to incorporate her culture and knowledge into classes: "I have met many domestic students who have little experience traveling to other countries, so I just bring my country to them." Mai's excitement to share her culture with domestic students continues to enrich Coe's campus with diversity.

Mai Le

"I have met many domestic students who have little experience traveling to other countries, so I just bring my country to them."


Leif Biehl
Schifferstadt, Germany
Exchange Student / Fall of 2017
English & Physical Education

In his one semester at Coe College, Leif became a prominent member of the Coe community. With his involvement in various organizations and clubs, like Track and Choir, Leif was able to make a wide range of friends and truly embrace the Coe College experience in his short time here: "I am heartbroken that I have to leave my international and American friends. I have fallen in love with this place and its people. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to stay here."

One of Leif's favorite aspects of Coe is not just the diversity that Coe has, but also the welcoming environment it offers to all international students: "students are respected no matter what they look like, where they come from, or the hobbies they have." At Coe, we strive to make the adjustment to a new country as easy as possible. He loved that Coe College’s students and faculty were open and willing to help any and all international students.

Leif Biehl

"Coe truly made it possible for me to find a place that is my home away from home, and I am beyond grateful for that. I will always recommend this place, and I will be your biggest ambassador at my home university. I have grown and learned so much about myself as a person as well as in my academics, track and field, and choir. Thank you so much."