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Spartans of UD - Pedwar Castillo

By University Relations Staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Pedwar Castillo, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a sophomore psychology and economics double major. He is a member of the men's tennis team.

Why did you choose to travel to the United States and attend UD?

"I decided to study outside my country because of the fact of leaving my comfort zone and exploring a little more has opened doors. Coming to the United States gives me an opportunity to explore what I want to do and have a nice process along the way. I chose UD due to the fact of being able to play the sport that I like at the same time that I can have a good education. Also, the tools and aids that UD staff gave me were incredible."

How has UD, particularly the Office of International Student Services and Study Abroad, supported you as you navigate life away from your home country?

"UD has great people working behind the scenes who have helped me so much with information or actions in certain processes which I needed help with. It also depends a lot on the type of person you are. If you are more outgoing, you will surely find extracurricular activities with which you can make friends, whether you are an international or native student. If you are an introverted person, which is my case, you will surely also find people who will have an impact on your life and who will make you feel as close to home as possible."

What has been the highlight of your time on campus so far?

"There are so many beautiful memories but if I must choose one, without a doubt, it would be the first day I arrived on campus. I remember how nervous and at the same time happy and excited I was. A special mention to all the beautiful sunsets that the campus offers you at the end of the day."

What advice do you have for future international students?

"My advice for future international students is don't be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone and explore the world. There is no need to see decisions, if things didn't go as you expected, as bad. Instead see it as learning. There's a lot more than you think out there. So, don't be afraid of trying; it will be worth it in one way or another."

In your opinion, what makes the University of Dubuque unique?

"Without a doubt, the staff and mentors that UD has and how beautiful campus is are two of the things that make you fall in love with UD without expecting it."