Category Archives: Cadet Chat

Being an International Student at NMMI

By: Cadet Christopher Bulus

Life as an international student at NMMI is awesome. Most students in the school are internationals, with many of them being athletes. The reason is because the United States is one of the countries that encourages the combination of education and sports to contribute to the success of an individual. There are lots of benefits and opportunities for international students at NMMI and they are: getting to study at a highquality institution, choosing from a broad range of associate degree programs, enjoying the military lifestyle on campus, improving individual English skills, making friends and study partners from all over the world, and getting international experience on your resume. 

The Institute has been around for over 125 years. It is also recognized as one of the top military junior colleges in the country in terms of academics and athletics. I have had the chance to learn different leadership characters from international and local cadets. 

There are many associates degrees in arts and science available at the Institute for every student to study and acquire their two years degree. Students meet and interact with experienced and qualified teachers in a class that has a maximum of only eighteen students. 

The military lifestyle on campus is awesome because every international student in the school has to room with an American student.  This creates a learning opportunity to share each other’s different culture and helps foster the skill of learning to interact with people from different places. The Institute creates a diverse campus environment that prepares all students for a brighter future in the 21st century with suitable careers in the global economy. 

For international students, English might not be the first language they speak, and it will be very challenging for them to speak in the classrooms, at first.  But, NMMI provides English writing labs and tutors to guide the students as they learn English. 

Making friends and study partners at the Institute is very natural and important because it is the best way to excel in both academics and in life. Teachers give group assignments that will help build self-esteem within students and this is most beneficial to internationals as they are still adapting to the environment. International students attract the best of the best from all over the world. This brings in the most talented and brightest students and athletes from around the world. 

Lastly, international students get the benefit of being recognized with an international certificate.  This will help increase their chances of getting jobs and fitting into the real world. 

In summary, the benefits of being an international student at NMMI are worth it because the Institute prepares the student to be leaders of tomorrow who will consistently lead with integrity, fairness, honest, and clear communication. I am an international student from Nigeria, and I am proud to say that I have acquired a lot of knowledge from the extensive opportunities that are available here at the Institute. 


Becoming More at NMMI

By:  Cadet Alexandria Rivera

My life at NMMI started in August of 2013 when I was 14 years old. Now, five years later, I have much to say about how NMMI changed me. When I started, I remember never being challenged and doing homework without having to think hard about it at all. I found out that I was capable of much more after middle school. When I got my first bad grade, I knew I could have done better, so I got help from the teacher and it was a simple fix. Since then, I know what I can keep for last minute, and what needs more time. Time management is something I did not know existed. I learned quickly that time management would be my best friend that kept my life together. This school keeps you so busy that all you can think about is work and sleep. This makes free time much more enjoyable and you begin to be grateful for the little time you have to hang out with friends, making you value all the little moments the most. The friends I have made here are all good motivators and they have the same goals as me. Overall, the students here have a good head on their shoulders, so they are good influences compared to my friends back home. Going back home to where you used to be and lived for so long begins to feel different without you, and that it is good. You now have things to share and people to influence at home. If your friends see that you are more polite and open doors for other people, they begin to do the same. So, NMMI doesn’t only change your life, it changes your friends and family. NMMI has been a blessing for me and I would not be the person I am today without it.

The Importance of Finding Support at NMMI

By: Cadet Alejandro Lopez

Hello, my name is Alejandro Lopez, and I have been attending New Mexico Military Institute for three years. Every year is different because of different factors such as new rules and people leaving and entering the institute. One thing I have learned in this school is that there are many people who will help you succeed. For example, my parents have supported me when I have struggled. They give support and encourage me to continue and not to give up. Also, teachers here encourage and help you as much as they can. Teachers here actually care and want the students to succeed. One way this school is unique is that you get to live with your friends. In my case, whenever I feel like I am alone, I just go hang out with my friends and that feeling leaves my mind. Also, many of my friends ask me for help with math. Sometimes, students do not understand teachers, so helping my friends makes me feel good because I get to help them understand. The fact that I helped my friend makes me think I am a better person because that assignment could help him in the future to succeed.  In that way, I am partially responsible for his success. The thing that is magical about the school is that you can make friendships that can last a lifetime. I have met friends that I love with all my heart. It is a mutual support between us because we have all gone through the same challenges that NMMI provides. But, thanks to them, I am here in my senior year ready to graduate.


Friends Who are Like Family at NMMI

By Cadet Carlos Andres Retamoza

My name is Carlos Andres Retamoza, and I am 16 years old. I am from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. At the age of 15, I went to live outside of my country to study at the New Mexico Military Institute. I think I threw myself into the abyss with all of the other students. It was the first time I left the country, and I did not speak the language of my new country of residence. I was going to live with strangers, and within days of arriving, I started classes within a system totally unknown to me. I came to study at the New Mexico Military Institute without knowing it was the best decision I had made in my life. Every day, every activity that I had to carry out was an apprenticeship.  Sometimes apprenticeships were full of pleasant surprises, and other times they were apprenticeships full of frustrations and effort. During this period, one of the things I learned was the importance of the friends I made at the New Mexico Military Institute. Many of these people were international students, like me, who were going through the same experience that I was going through, and they perfectly understood my difficulties. They quickly became an important support network and even more, I discovered that due to the circumstances that bind you, these friends happen to become “your family” while you are away from home. There are many stories that I can tell you about the support, the laughter, the love, and the solutions found together with friends. There are many stories that happen with my friends at the Institute, and I can tell right now the importance of all of them. Having friends and knowing that I am surrounded by so many wonderful people strengthens me.  Every time I have had to go through some difficult situation, I have never felt alone even though I am so far from home. That’s why I consider friends the greatest treasure you can have while living abroad.

The Importance of Being a RAT

By Cadet SFC Jose Robles

To be a RAT means to be a Recruit-At-Training. It means to be a follower, but most importantly, it means that you are becoming part of the NMMI family. The RAT traditions have been a part of the institute since it was founded, which is 127 years of traditions. Every new cadet is a RAT, no matter their age or grade. The first year you come to NMMI, you will be a RAT your entire first semester. During this period, you cannot gain any Rank or position in the corps of cadets. Your job is to be a follower. It is important to be a follower during this time because you gain knowledge and experience. Once the first semester is done, you will turn to the Rank of private. This is the time when you can apply for leadership positions and Rank in the Corps of Cadets.

Being a RAT comes with many responsibilities. You will have to do certain RAT duties like Rat walking, RAT running, popping to, and wearing certain distinctions on your uniform that identify you as a Recruit-at-Training. Many incoming cadets do not make it through this period. It really is hard. Everyone will be after you and making sure you do the right thing at all times, even if nobody is looking. But many do make it, and believe me, it is a great satisfaction when you see you did make it and you conquered all of the challenges that NMMI exposes you to.

Your RAT year will be the best year you will experience here at the institute because even though it is tough, your RAT buddy connections are incredible. Your RAT buddies are incoming cadets who are experiencing the same challenges you are, and that creates friendships that will last a lifetime. The connection you and your RAT buddies create is an amazing bond that will motivate you and make you get through the challenge of being a RAT.