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James Vatral

Senior International Student Advisor


Hope Swaim

A confirmed Baby Boomer, Jim grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania not far from Kennywood Park, “the roller coaster capital of the world,” where he worked during his summer high-school vacations and learned to love the iconic thrill ride (wooden coasters are best).
Beginning his college career at the University of Pittsburgh, Jim subsequently graduated Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in education. For several years afterward, Jim taught high-school English for both the Broward County School system and the Archdiocese of Miami.
After teaching, Jim joined private industry and the corporate world as a telecommunications customer service and systems trainer for both the cable television and wireless telephone industries. After 20 years in the telecommunications arena, Jim knew it was time for a change. As a result, in 2004, Jim joined the NSU Office of International Affairs family.
Jim’s eclectic interests span a wide range of pastimes and hobbies, from exploring the pious and mysteriously fascinating world of contemplative cloistered Catholic nuns to collecting and listening to the wonderous motion picture soundtracks from the Golden and Silver ages of Hollywood film music. In fact, he could easily watch a sparkling film version of a tuneful Broadway musical right along with the goriest of George Romero’s zombie romps, and then top off the evening with a Ted Talk (a definite dating tip).
Despite his quirkiness and preference for situations with a “tilt,” Jim cares deeply for his international students--students who grace him with a globally rich education each day and privilege him with myriad opportunities to help them survive the often frightening, frustrating, and foreboding United States immigration system. At the end of the day, Jim keeps them “stay.”

(954) 262-7241
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