International Student Center Makes Preparations for CFAW

Being a new student on a college campus is notoriously intimidating, even more so if you came from overseas. There are class schedules to get used to, buildings to navigate and new faces to meet at every turn. Combine all of that with being in a new country and things can get overwhelming.  That’s where the International Student Center (ISC) can help.  

As in years past, the ISC is hosting an open house for international students during this year’s College For A Weekend (CFAW) to help acclimate students as best as possible. They will provide refreshments and offer students a casual way to meet new people and fellow believers from all over the world.    

“The purpose of the CFAW Open House is to welcome prospective international and domestic students to come and enjoy some coffee and a light snack in a place that makes them feel welcome and encourages them to deepen their cultural intelligence as well as make new friends,” Sonja Jung, a student advisor at the ISC, said.

Hannah Rayan, a junior in the nursing program, is a first-generation student whose family moved to the U.S. from India. She’s just one example of a domestic student who has found community within this intercultural environment. 

“Honestly, I’ve met a lot of friends at the international center,” Rayan said. “I would even say like 95% of my friends are international, which is crazy cause I’m from (the U.S.), and I’ve never had that.”

Taste of nations is held in the Vines Center on February 27, 2019 (Photo by Joel Isimeme)

Rozani Theron is a senior studying industrial engineering and currently serving as an international student ambassador. She was born in South Africa and raised in Belarus. 

“There’s so much diversity, so I never felt like ‘Oh, I’m a stranger here,’ and God kind of just sent me people as well, just like friends,” Theron said. 

She also emphasized the assistance offered at the ISC when it comes to visas and other documentation. In fact, that willingness to offer help and answer questions seems to be a common theme at the ISC.  

“I really, really do appreciate that because a lot of international students come, and they don’t know what to do or where to go or how to meet new people,” Angel Udofia, a sophomore who moved with her family to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2012, said. “Just to have that there catering to international students — it’s a blessing.”  

It can be overwhelming being a new student, experiencing a new environment and schedule, but for international students it can be even more difficult because some of them are experiencing a whole new culture. 

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get to know people, but also, if you are feeling anything negative, don’t be afraid to get the help that you need,” Jung said. “We especially at the ISC are here for you, no matter the issue. We are a family at the ISC and want our students to feel the same as well.”

CFAW will be held Sept. 22-24 and Nov. 10-12 this fall. Incoming and potential students can look forward to a whole host of events, including the ISC’s open house where they can ask questions, make friends and have their new-student anxieties eased.  

Malanowski  is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion

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