A first-generation student, who came to the U.S. from Cuba, describes his determination and the opportunities FIU has provided.

Hobert Caudales was a first-generation student. The FIU alumnus tells a harrowing story of how he and his parents left Cuba to Miami on a boat when he was seven. They left everything in pursuit of a new life.

As an only child, Caudales’ parents wanted more for their son than they could offer in their home country. Their sacrifice drives Caudales to succeed, he says, and they were extremely proud when he walked across the graduation stage with his FIU diploma as an undergraduate, and even more proud when he received his M.S. in Engineering Management in 2021.

“All I went through really put my determination into overdrive,” he says as he recalls the culture shock he experienced on American soil. “I cried a lot. I was bullied. It took me a year and a half to learn English, and I still had an accent.”

The early months in the U.S. provided many new experiences for Caudales. With two FIU degrees to his name, he is grateful to his parents and the university that helped shape his career.

Read more at FIU Online.