Skip To Top Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer


Published: December 01, 2022 | Categories: Crossroads

Chilean student follows in her mom’s footsteps at Missouri Southern

When Carolina Contreras arrived on the Missouri Southern campus in 2002, the exchange student from Chile wasn’t sure what to expect.

What she found were new friends and the benefits of becoming engaged in campus life.

“It was a rich experience when I came here,” said Carolina. “I met very nice people, like Stephanie.”

Stephanie Goad – MSSU’s senior coordinator of international recruitment and admissions – was at the time an international student advisor.

“I remember that Carolina went to all of our events,” said Goad. “She was with a very active group of Chilean students who came here from a partner school in Santiago.”

Goad said she later visited Chile and was shown around the city by Carolina and other students.

“I felt like we had a connection,” she said. “Then, earlier this year, she contacted Missouri Southern and found out I was still here. She asked if I remembered her and I said, ‘I absolutely remember who you are!’”

Twenty years after her time as an international student, Carolina felt the university would be the perfect place to send her daughter, Maria, who was seeking her own study abroad experience.

“It is very difficult to let our kids go somewhere far away,” said Carolina, who said her time at MSSU led her to encourage Maria to give it a look.

After meeting with Goad via Zoom and learning more about the campus, Maria enrolled and arrived this fall as a student in the Intensive English Program … almost exactly two decades after her mother.

“I know that (my mother) had so much fun here and had a good experience,” said Maria. “People cared for my mom, so I feel safe here.”

Goad said, to her knowledge, it marks the first time Missouri Southern has become home to a second-generation international student.

“It makes me feel really good to know Carolina would want to send her daughter here as well,” she said.