For international student, MU is her ‘second home’


“What I have learned at MU will help me greatly in the future,” says Laura Mayorga Mejia, a senior health communication major from Managua, Nicaragua. “Our mission statement focuses on valuing the infinite worth of every individual, and I want to be able to put this statement into practice when I'm in grad school and then in the workplace. The importance of community involvement will also always be an aspect of my Manchester journey that I will take with me wherever I go.”

Mayorga Mejia chose her health communication major because it allowed her to combine the natural sciences with the social sciences and pursue her passion for community health work, health literacy, and achieving health equity for all. “I chose Manchester specifically because my oldest brother graduated from Manchester in 2007 and because of that, I heard stories from his time at Manchester and they were always positive and filled with opportunities to meet local people and international students,” she says. “Now that I’m here, the community at Manchester has welcomed me and it has now become a second home for me.”

On campus, Mayorga Mejia is involved in Model UN, Student Senate and the Honors Program. She works on campus as a Spartan ambassador for the Office of Admissions and as a peer educator for Spartan CHOICES.

Through those organizations, Mayorga Mejia has made amazing memories. “One of my favorite memories involves the Office of Multicultural Affairs, because I have met wonderful people through the office and have found the most support there,” she says. “During international student orientation my first year, we got to go laser tagging, and were able to bond with people coming from different places. I also really enjoy the Manchester tradition of May Day weekend each year.”

After graduation in May 2022, Mayorga Mejia plans to get her master's degree in public health with a focus on health promotion and education. Eventually, she would like to get a job as a community health worker or in any other hospital or clinical setting.

“I think I'm mostly looking forward to Commencement because I feel like Manchester has prepared me for my next steps, although it is a bittersweet feeling,” says Mayorga Mejia. “It has been great to form so many lifelong relationships with people at MU and I am hoping to have a great rest of my senior year.”

By Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner is a senior biology-chemistry and vocal performance major from Pennsylvania and works as an assistant for the Office of Strategic Communications.