From colorful posters providing information like “The Stages of Culture Shock” to homemade cookies and giveaways, various campus departments welcomed the incoming international students last Thursday in O’Connor Campus Center (the Coop).
The inaugural Campus Resources Fair was part of the bolstered programming for international student pre-orientation. Cristina Khan, the director of the Office of International Student Services (OISS), came up with the idea.
“Because nearly all of our students are dealing with jet lag, it is hard to stay engaged during long presentations,” explained Khan. “I am always looking for innovative and creative approaches to keep OISS programs engaging.”
The pre-orientation program for international students is designed to help ease the transition for those traveling to Hamilton, N.Y., from outside the United States. International students in the Class of 2018, who have traveled from 19 countries, make up 10 percent of the incoming class. This year’s international first-years collectively have the strongest academic record in the history of Colgate international students.
The students were given Campus Resources Fair “passports” so they could collect stickers from each department to place on the designated space in their booklets. Those who collected a sticker for every department were entered into a raffle to win one of a dozen prizes, including Colgate gear and gift baskets.
Degena Woldemariam ’17, who traveled from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to volunteer for this year’s pre-orientation, felt that this year’s program was an improvement because it was more interactive than previous years, which were centered around presentations. This year, the students had the chance to ask personalized questions and talk with department representatives, he explained.
“It’s really helpful to get to know faces and get an overall feel of what’s happening on the campus,” said Matthew Lee ’18 from Vancouver, Canada. “They’re really open, so I know that if I have any questions, I’m going to get an answer.”