International Admissions  
  • Follow us online!
  • Facebook  Twitter  YouTube
  • Chat with Admissions
  • Chat with an Admissions rep

International Saint Spotlight

Anna Musiyenko, Ukraine

Sophomore Anna Musiyenko has always loved traveling. Throughout her childhood, she would venture from her hometown of Kharkiv in Ukraine to different parts of Europe. So America, in a way, was another travel destination, a new experience for her.

Musiyenko didn’t always want to go to the United States, however. Initially she planned on attending an undergraduate institution in Ukraine and moving on to a graduate school in France to study law. This all changed when her parents found an organization that

could send her to the States to play tennis on a scholarship. Within her first semester, her reluctance had vanished. “I loved it,” said Musiyenko. “I cannot say I regret coming here. It was a good change in my life.”

Upon arriving on the other side of the Atlantic, Musiyenko arrived in South Carolina, but quickly transferred to Malone University in Ohio. She made friends in both places and discovered so much about America. After the tennis team at Malone disbanded, she looked toward Aquinas College. Though she loves being in America, she does miss parts of Ukraine. Living in the large city of Kharkiv, she was always surrounded by activity. She also misses the readily available healthy foods in Ukraine as opposed to the overabundance of fast food in the U.S


For now, Musiyenko plans on finishing her undergraduate here and possibly continuing school in Europe. No longer desiring to study law, she is pursuing communications (she is involved in both The Saint and AQ Sound). With Ukraine’s culture of deciding on a career early, Musiyenko did not realize this was her passion until she began studying in Grand Rapids.

Since attending Aquinas, Musiyenko has moved close to campus and is getting adjusted to being a commuter student. In addition to the clubs already mentioned,

Musiyenko has a full load with tennis and class. When not doing any of the above, she enjoys exploring Grand Rapids, shopping, and seeing live music. Okean Elzy (Elza’s Ocean

in English), a popular rock band from Ukraine, is her favorite band, but she enjoys Green Day, Maroon 5, and jazz music, as well. Tennis remains one of her largest time commitments, however. Musiyenko has been playing since she was 10 years old, citing it as one of her favorite sports. “It’s a very individual-based sport,” said Musiyenko. “You have to count on yourself.” She had to choose tennis carefully; in Ukraine, schools don’t have sports teams. One has to pay to get into a club, so most people only play a single sport. Now that she is in America, she hopes to have the chance to try soccer and lacrosse. In the future, look for Musiyenko chasing the latest story for The Saint, hosting a show on AQ Sound, or serving for the tennis team.

Brian Williams '69
Brian Williams



Aquinas is a small college that thinks big. This Catholic Midwestern institution truly opened my eyes to the world and gave me the education and confidence to succeed in life.


- Brian Williams '69, Canadian Broadcaster

Carlos Martinez '09
Carlos Martinez


"Morar em Grand Rapids e estudar no Aquinas College, foi umas das melhores escolhas que eu fiz na minha vida. A cidades é incrível e o Aquinas College oferece uma infraestrutura magnífica para estudar e participar de atividades extra curriculares. Tive o imenso prazer de fazer parte do time de futebol e meus companheiros de time não só me ajudaram na adaptação com a nova cultura, como se tornaram meus amigos pessoais e 4 anos após nossa formatura eu ainda converso com a grande maioria e muitos já vieram me visitar aqui no Brasil."


- Carlos Martinez, Aquinas College Class of 2009, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

Alvaro Romero '15
Alvaro Romero

Aquinas College fue mi primera experiencia en una Universidad de artes liberales. Fue interesante seguir un currículo donde el énfasis en humanidades era una prioridad, y parte de la misión de Aquinas: formar personas íntegras y con una perspectiva global.

Pude siempre observar un enfoque directo profesor-alumno en cada una de las clases. Los instructores estuvieron siempre pendientes del progreso personal de los estudiantes, a la vez que les inculcaban la idea de que son ellos mismos quienes debían buscar el desarrollo y el camino al éxito, pues las herramientas siempre estarían en Aquinas para ayudarlos. Es también una institución que, si bien es pequeña, tiene un gran compromiso con el cuidado del ambiente y la naturaleza, reflejado en distintas actividades que tienen el objetivo de transmitir, desde la institución, los profesores y los alumnos, que es nuestro deber mantener en este planeta un sistema sustentable.

Estudiar en salones que acompañan un frondoso bosque es una de las atracciones visuales que más recuerdo de Aquinas; caminar desde el dormitorio hacia la cafetería o el gimnasio cruzando un riachuelo, viendo árboles que viven las cuatro estaciones y disfrutando el día a día de una gran población de ardillas, no se observa todos los días. Muchos estudiantes en Aquinas tienen un gran interés en conocer gente de diversas culturas y lugares del mundo; todo esto hizo mis años de estudio en Aquinas College una experiencia agradable.


English translation:
Aquinas College was my first experience at a liberal arts school. It was interesting to follow a curriculum where the emphasis on humanities was a priority, and part of Aquinas’ mission: to educate well-rounded individuals with a global perspective.

I could always see the faculty-student direct approach in every class. The instructors were always looking after the students’ personal progress, while at the same time encouraging them to become the authors of their own development and success, with Aquinas’ resources always there to help them. This is an institution that, even though small, has a big commitment with the environment and with the nature; proof is this were a number of on-campus activities with the objective of transmitting, through faculty, students and Aquinas itself, that it is our duty to make our planet a sustainable system.

Studying in classrooms next to a great forest was one of the best visuals I have from Aquinas; walking from my room to the cafeteria or the gym while crossing a creek, witnessing trees go through all four seasons and watching a not-so-small population of squirrels’ everyday activities is not something you can find everywhere. Many students at Aquinas were very interested in knowing people coming from different places, with different cultures. All this made my years of study at Aquinas College a pleasant experience.