When people first talk to Justin Heintz, most of them pick up on his accent. But very few know where it came from.
"Luxembourg," he'll tell them. "I came from Luxembourg."
This small, central European country is the home of Miami's own John E. Dolibois campus, where many students choose to study abroad. Justin, however, being from Luxembourg, chose to study abroad at Miami's main campus in Oxford.
If he had the time to explain why he chose Miami to every person who asked, these are the reasons he would tell them:
Because after his gap year in Ecuador, he realized that Miami was where he wanted to be.
Because the schools he applied to in Scotland just didn't do it for him.
Because Miami has sports teams and intramurals, whereas the universities in Europe are solely focused on academics.
Because he wanted to play indoor soccer and volleyball for fun, yet in a game setting, with his newfound friends.
Because Miami has a first-year research program, and "having that opportunity is really rare."
Because his first semester at Miami would allow him to become involved in the Association of Latin and American Students, where he would be able to continue to invest in the South American culture he had lived in for a year.
Because at Miami, he could show other incoming international students the ropes of campus through Miami's International Peer Orientation Leaders program.
Because at Miami, he can study abroad in France and learn one of the official languages of his hometown.
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Because Miami offered him a full-tuition scholarship.
Because a lot of successful and famous people in Luxembourg went to Miami and that was enough proof of the caliber of the school.
Because Miami is . . . well, Miami.
Even though he had his doubts while driving through half an hour of cornfields on his first trip to campus, and even though people here criticize his use of the words "mate" and "cheers," Justin has fallen in love with Miami like so many before him.
"It turned out to be a good fit," he said.