What Our Students Are Saying

Discover HCC through the individual stories of our students. Here's what they say about HCC, our programs, and life at HCC.

São Paulo, Brazil

HCC 2018 Graduate, Business Administration, Honors Institute, Soccer Club

When I first started at HCC, I was looking for an education that would provoke my analytic and imaginative thinking, and provide me with the tools I needed to chase my own aspirations, and thus enhance my intellectual and professional journey. However, I was offered much more than just a traditional diploma here. The college has activities and clubs for every major, strong academic resources, interesting student organizations, and vast opportunities available for any student that seeks them. Being part of HCC’s Honors Institute and graduating with honors definitely played a determining role in my admission to Columbia University. Aside from the academic aspects, HCC’s diverse student body deeply broadened my cultural horizons, making me more competitive for admission to Columbia, and I am thankful for having the opportunity to meet peers with distinct backgrounds and for the many friendships I developed throughout my time at HCC. 

Beja, Tunesia

HCC 2018 Graduate, Computer Programming Specialist Certificate
SGA Senator & Co-Chair of Marketing and School Spirit Committees, Global Council Secretary, International Student Ambassador, TJSP Scholar and Alumna.

I am an exchange student from Tunisia and came to HCC for one-year on an amazing scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State. HCC was a life-changing experience for me. I was given the opportunity to discover myself as a student and to be active in the local community. I learned how to be a leader, take responsibility, make good decisions, and be innovative. Thanks to the vast array of student clubs offered on campus, I was able to choose the organizations that truly interested me. I became a member of Student Government Association, which provided the opportunity to develop as a person and a leader, and give back to the community through meaningful community service.

As for academics, the Computer Science department was nothing but good to me. The instructors are inspiring and the lectures are effective and informative. I was able to choose the right classes with the help of the Center for International Education, where you can find amazing advisors who will guide you through your studies and encourage what they see best for you. I had the pleasure and privilege to have Minami Eberhard and Andrew Stephens as my advisors and I cannot thank them enough. They were there for me every step of the way and helped me a lot when I needed it.

 My opinion is if you apply yourself as more than a student and you become active in the community, HCC will not be only your institution, but a family as well, where you can feel welcomed always by everyone: staff, students, and faculty.

Stephanie Agard

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

HCC Student, Architecture and Design Program, Dean's List
Honors Institute Student, National Society of Collegiate Scholars Inductee, Honors Arête Club Member
Emerging Green Builders and Designers Club member 

"My name is Stephie Agard and I am currently a student at Hillsborough Community College. I started in fall of 2015 and so far it has been amazing. To me, it has been blessing after blessing because I made up my mind to put my all into this new chapter in my life. Being an international student has allowed me to expand my wings in many ways. I am currently a part of the International Student Club which brings students together from various countries to interact and grow with one another. Furthermore, I was accepted into the Honors Institute which also allowed me to become greatly comfortable with being new to the United States and even being a part of this amazing college. Additionally, it has given me the drive to work even harder and shoot for the stars in everything that I do. Since then I was able to interact with many students and build friendships on many field trips and meetings that were hosted regularly. I decided to become a part of the Emerging Green Builders and Design club that seems to fit my major (Architecture), so it has thus allowed me to become a part of a team that also have the same interest and drive that I do for Art and Architecture, even so for helping in building a greener community. I was able to travel to California for the Solar decathlon a couple months ago in aid of getting the experience that compliments my passion. Being at the Hillsborough Community college has been both a blessing and a privilege as it sets my path for a future that I look forward to."

Warri, Nigeria

HCC Student, Database Technology Program
CIE Student Assistant, SGA Vice President, Phi Theta Kappa, Collegiate 100, International Students Club, HCC Soccer Travelling Team, Intramural Soccer Club

"Awesome city, beautiful people, and one of the best colleges for International students. HCC is a school with sound and practical learning resources that gives student lively exposure and better education than one can apply anywhere in the world. My desire of leaving a system better than the way I joined it prompted me into joining the Student Government Association (SGA), where we represent and advocate for students across the country. SGA gave me the opportunity to travel around the country, connecting with young student leaders, attending leadership conferences, and participating in student’s advocacy. Recently we travelled to Washington DC, where we had meetings with Senator Bill Nelson, a member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Florida, and Congresswoman Kathy Castor discussing issues like Simplification of the FAFSA application and refinancing student loans. Paying it forward pushed me into working with the Center for International Education as a Student Assistant, where we have an adorable group of staff that helps give international students the best transition into America lifestyle. Also, participating in activities involving the HCC Soccer Travelling Team, International Students Club, and HCC Intermural Soccer games gives me a perfect break away from academic activities. HCC has a great support structure for international students to be successful both academically and otherwise. And I look forward to seeing a great influx of International students here at HCC."

Curitiba, Brazil

HCC 2016 Graduate, Business Administration
President of HCC International Club, Senator of HCC Student Government Association, Soccer Club, and Phi Beta Lambda

"Every day still feels like a new adventure here in Tampa! It is such a great feeling to have so much freedom, while taking on new responsibilities. Coming to HCC was the best choice for my education. The friends and connections that I’ve created and keep creating are awesome! The people here are like my family. If someone would have told me one year ago that my best friends would be coming from countries all over the world, like China, Guatemala, Serbia, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia – I wouldn’t have believed them. It’s amazing to see the many positive things that my college experience has added to my life. I would recommend HCC to all students thinking about studying abroad!”

 Katherine Mayo

Bogota, Colombia

HCC Student, Radiography Major
International Student Club, Note Taker for the Disabilities Office, International Student Assistant at CIE 

"HCC is the perfect spot to take your first steps as an international student. The help and guidance that you get from the international office is great. At the beginning, I was a little bit scared about all these changes that were going on in my life. But the people that surrounded me during this process supported me to make the best decisions related to my education in the United States as it is completely different to the education in Colombia. I also had the chance to work for the international office and help other international students to accomplish their goals as I was also being helped to accomplish mine. I am glad I am part of HCC, but unfortunately this is my last year. I have completed one more chapter of my life but there are more chapters to come. And for future students all I have to say is do not stress out, and enjoy this opportunity, remember that whatever you need, the international office is there to help you so don’t worry!"

 Guilherme Lasmar Negrao

São Paulo, Brazil

HCC 2016 Graduate, Business Administration
SGA Senator, member of the HCC Honors Institute, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Theta Kappa, and HCC Dale Mabry Soccer Club, International Student Assistant at CIE

“My experience at HCC has been amazing! I will never regret making the choice to come here. The first semester was the hardest, since I did not know what to expect from the college. But, the people at the Center for International Education at Hillsborough Community College (CIE) helped me through it! Also, I served as one of their International Student Assistants at the CIE! Since my first week at HCC, the Soccer Club was very helpful for my integration into college life. All of the team members were very receptive, and most of my best friends came from the team. This is just one of the many clubs that every student can enjoy at HCC, from the Psychology Club to the Chess Club, there is a club for everyone! The classes are also amazing! All of my interactions with the professors increased my individual interest in each class. I was accepted into the Honors Institute at HCC. The Honors Institute is a great opportunity for academically motivated students, which can open even more doors for your future!”

Anambra, Nigeria

HCC 2016 Graduate, Business Administration 
International Club member, President of Baptize Collegiate Ministry (BCM)

“I thought that it would be a difficult transition to move from my country, Nigeria, to the USA without knowing how to speak English perfectly. But when the opportunity to study in America presented itself, I could not pass it up because it gave me a chance to expand my horizon, while learning about the American culture. Studying at HCC gave me a taste of what is like to attend school in the USA. It sharpened me, both mentally and physically – getting me ready to for any big university. The atmosphere in HCC is magnificent. Studying here academically challenged me, while bringing out the best in me… which I am thankful for! The International Club and Baptize Collegiate Ministry (BCM) were two clubs that played a significant role in my experience at HCC. When I was struggling to adapt to my new life at school, the International Club and BCM were there to help me get familiar with campus life. HCC is a great college with a lot diversity, and I highly recommend it to anyone. The lectures there are top-notch and so are the professors. I am grateful to be a student at HCC, and I’m proud to be graduating, then transferring to USF!”


HCC Student, Computer Science
International Student Ambassador, Member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars, currently an International Student Assistant at the CIE

"As an international student who transferred from Washington to Florida, I found that HCC was one of the most prestigious community colleges for international students. It has been a great experience to study and work here. I started here by joining the International Student Ambassador Club, a connection between new students and current students. It has contributed greatly to my cultural awareness and leadership skills. We welcome new student before they arrive to HCC, and we assist them with the orientation, registration, and so on. It is not easy for the ambassadors to connect students and help them with the different issues they had. However, when these students get accustomed to with the environment, American culture, friends, and Tampa, we can see that our goal is fulfilled. The International Student Club is an active club that includes over 150 students from around the world. This club also hosts events and creates activities to bring the international community closer. After two years at HCC, I know that we are from different countries with different languages, culture, and traditions, but we are one international community at HCC. We make friends, have a great time together and most importantly, we support each other. The Center for International Education, I would say, is one of the most wonderful international offices in the world. The center consists of friendly, enthusiastic staff and faculty, who are providing recruitment, admission, and academic advising services. They are also the family of the international students because if a student has any issues, they are always there to help you out."