From 130 countries around the world, international students arrived in the Rocky Mountains this year ready to start classes at CU Denver. The international student population at the university increases annually, and each student brings his or her own unique perspective to the campus. "This was a totally new place—I had no clue—and I had to start from scratch. But the professors and students were so helpful," said Medhi Bandali, a biology major on a pre-med track. Bandali was teamed with a "study buddy", an American student who helped him with the language and with finding his way around in an unfamiliar city. He describes himself as ethnically Indian and nationally Kenyan; his family is from Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania, and he went to high school in London. Having no pre-conceived ideas about CU Denver and the city, he's now enthusiastic about both the university and the state. Enrolled in the Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP), part of his educational experience includes working at Kaiser Permanente, and he hopes to continue his studies at Anschutz Medical Campus. "My advice to other international students who are considering coming here is: be willing to take the chance," said Bandali. Another advantage of going to school at CU Denver is its proximity to downtown Denver businesses and organizations, according to international student Karim Al-Hassoun. "I can go to my classes, then easily go to my internship job," said Al-Hassoun, an undergraduate in the College of Engineering and Applied Science who is planning to enroll in the MBA program upon graduation. "Denver is a city that's just the right size for students. And there are many international students and student groups here on campus."