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Meet a Student: Dixie State University with Duy

Find out from an international student what the experience is like studying and living in St. George, Utah. Read about his experience with the visa process, employment, and student supports — is Dixie State right for you?

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    Dixie State University is a public university located in St. George, Utah, known for its low-cost tuition and career-ready learning. It’s situated on a property with beautiful lakes and mountains, in a state known for its friendly people and kind hospitality.

    To find out more about what school and life are like at Dixie State University (which students call “Dixie” or DSU), I had the privilege of talking to Duy, an international student who studies computer science. I wanted to get a better idea of what student life and living in Utah is like, how academics work there, and the process of obtaining a study visa.

    Duy is one of the International Student Leaders at Dixie, which is a program for connecting international students with the best support possible. In Vietnam — his home country — Duy already has a degree in software engineering. However, a few years ago his uncle suggested that he go study in the USA; studying abroad is a rewarding experience that everyone deserves, and not satisfied with his current job, Duy thought it was a great idea.

    Getting There

    While going to the United States to study was planned, attending Dixie wasn’t! Duy enrolled first in a university in a nearby US state, but found that the tuition was too expensive. While spending a semester in community college, Dixie’s director of international student services came to present, and Duy was drawn by the experience and DSU’s affordable tuition for a university of its size. He enrolled soon after.

    I asked Duy about his experience obtaining an American visa because I felt like many international students worried about it, though he assured me that the process wasn’t as difficult as he expected. Here are some tips he shared:

    • In the application, be able to prove your financial ability for basic funding for one year. A lot of students worry about this, so choosing a university with lower tuition (like DSU) is a good option

    • When preparing for the interview at the American embassy, students should have a strong plan for what they plan on doing in the USA. As long as they have that and are honest, the interview should go well

    • Duy says it isn’t harder to get a visa when attending a smaller institution instead of a big college. He had to renew his application when attending the community college and Dixie State University, and had no trouble both times

    Living in St. George, Utah

    St. George is a small city of 170,000 people, located in the lower western region of the United States. It’s about a 2-hour drive away from Las Vegas, Nevada, and 5 hours from Salt Lake City. It’s well-known for its outdoor recreation and beautiful scenery.

    Duy describes St. George as a small, calm, beautiful city. Although he says it’s fun to drive in the area (as there is a national park nearby), St. George also has great transit in the area. A transit pass is included with Dixie State University tuition, so students never have to pay to get around. While the city is in a rural area, it is still relatively modern, with DSU located in the centre.

    Supports for Students

    One of the things Duy told me is that he feels that Dixie State University genuinely cares for its students, and has better international student support than other universities and colleges he attended. The class sizes are usually around 30 people, and professors and teaching assistants care about students’ learning. It’s easy to contact them; usually, you can simply text your professors and get an answer quickly.

    Dixie’s support extends beyond that, as Duy says they act and adapt very quickly, which was clear in the COVID-19 pandemic. Dixie quickly reacted and moved to hybrid online classes. However, of more significance was their treatment of international students. When campuses closed, most colleges and universities in the United States evicted students from campus residences, leaving them stranded — particularly those who didn’t have any family in America. However, DSU allowed international students to stay in housing during the crisis, showing that they care.

    Resources for Students


    In applied, career-ready education, having some work experience is key. DSU requires most students to have an internship completed during their degree, and they have multiple contacts all over the United States to help students find work experience.

    Duy studies computer science, which he says is a relatively small program, so there weren’t as many options for internships available. However, that didn’t matter with the help of the career services centre; not only will they help you write your resume and cover letter, find employers, and conduct mock interviews (even if you just walk in!), career services also uses the Handshake system, allowing you to get internships in other states.

    If you need a part-time job to support you in your studies, Dixie offers that too. Duy assures me that there are lots of work opportunities offered in and around DSU, with great pay, housing, and scholarship opportunities.

    It was great to speak with Duy and learn more about his experiences studying at Dixie State University! Overall, I loved hearing about the kind of supports DSU offers international students, and what it’s like living in Utah. Here you can view all of the international student leaders, and get to know some of the other students that can help make your transition into Dixie awesome — they have all supplied their Instagram handles!

    If you would like to apply, the process is easy and quick through Global Study Guide; just find the program you like on Dixie’s school profile, and hit apply. If you don’t find the program you want, or would like to know more about studying at Dixie, leave us a comment or question, and we’ll be happy to help!

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