International Student Welcome introduces new Warriors to campus services and each other
New international students from 22 countries were officially welcomed to campus Aug. 30 during a special event hosted by the Office of International Programs.
International Student Welcome helps students meet one another, compare notes and class schedules, share a meal and figure out how to start fitting in on campus in a new country. Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for international programs, was an international student who arrived at WSU from Lebanon. He told the students that he knows how they’re feeling.
“I used to be one of you, 32 years ago,” he told the students. “I remember my first year. I used to go to the library, go to class and go home. I was unhappy, but then I got involved.
“You’ll be homesick – I’m just telling you – so get engaged and get to know other people. Make new friends because you did not come all this way to hang out with people from your hometown. Use this opportunity to meet other students. Get to know things about the U.S. and explore this wonderful region.”
During an info session the students learned about opening bank accounts, cell phone plans, the Campus Health Center and academic resources available to them as they acclimate to life in a new country. Industrial design major Kris Hren of Germany says he has never come to America before, so this is an exciting experience.
“It was all a bit overwhelming at first, but everyone has been very welcoming,” he says. “I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city, especially downtown.”
Hren and others waited in line for their turns at a scratch-off map, where they stuck pins in their hometowns and revealed their national flags. The number of countries represented by WSU’s international enrollment runs around 70 overall, with the most students coming from Canada, India, China, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. The majority of internationals are grad students, making up 77 percent of enrollment.
The university experience is a new one to accounting major Jordan Fox, who was recruited to Wayne State’s swim team. Fox says that big universities with dorms and thousands of students are uncommon in her home country, Australia, but she has already received a lot of help in adjusting from both faculty and teammates.
“Everyone is really supportive,” she says. “I look forward to different experiences. I think getting involved will make my stay so much better.”
The Office of International Programs leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us @WayneOIP.