Building a Better Tomorrow: International Students Take on STEM Expo

By Isabella Futchi


The STEM Expo is important for making connections for the average student, but for some international students, it is about gaining experience that will help them improve their home countries.

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics had its fall exposition Oct. 3, where numerous employers came looking for students ready to gain experience and jobs in their field. 

Amal Ali, senior industrial and systems engineering major, said she wants to gain the knowledge to make her home country of Kenya a better place when she returns.

“I came to [the STEM Expo] to hope to get an internship for next semester or possibly a full-time job,” she said. “We just want to go home and make it better and build our country.” 

Ali said she comes from a family of engineers and changed her major from chemical to industrial engineering so she could gain better job opportunities. 

Ali was not the only person who desired to make their home country a better place.

Zekarias Feleke, a freshman computer science major originally from Ethiopia, said he came to YSU for a better education and to go back to his home country to create a technology company.

“Computer science in Ethiopia is not big,” he said. “I want to start my own tech company and build a tech company. There are no big tech companies in Ethiopia.”

He said he has been interested in computer science since he was 10 years old. 

Feleke came to the STEM expo looking for experience or an internship to help him toward his career.

Tumi Adeeko, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Nigeria, said the expo was an opportunity to not only get job experience but also gain an understanding of the companies in Ohio and in Youngstown. 

“I want to get the feel of companies in Ohio and Youngstown and what opportunities will be available to me,” she said. “You do not lose anything from gaining experience; it’s going to build me as a person, build my character, build my professional experience.” 

Adeeko said she always loved math and was curious about how machines work. She chose STEM based on her interests and personality and said it is a perfect fit for her.

Youngstown State University currently has 214 international students enrolled in STEM according to the International Programs Office at YSU.