Moving to a new country for university can be a daunting prospect, but the International Student and Alumni Action Team at Arizona State University is offering international students lifelong support.
The group of Arizona State University (ASU) staff, faculty and alumni help international students settle into their home away from home through an international students’ orientation week, an international night where students share food, culture and art from their homes – and career advice.
“Before coming to (ASU), I was worried about whether people would accept me for who I am and understand the fact that I am from a different cultural background,” said Margaret Yirenkyi, a senior journalism and mass communication student from Ghana.
“I had no idea how inclusive ASU was. Through programs organized by the International Student and Alumni Action Team (ISAAT), I gradually felt accepted and connected to the ASU community.”
ISAAT helps international students to integrate with US culture and provides a platform for students to meet people who are in a similar situation to themselves.
“It’s been really great to meet people from different parts of the world and see how many students are enrolling in this college and how diverse it is,” said Andrea Brambila, a junior global studies major from Mexico
“I’m going to use this experience to do better in college because of all the resources I know I have access to as an ASU student, and also to network with other people.”
The group helps to ensure students to receive all the support necessary to thrive at university.
“Our driving mission – to provide timely and responsive services while making sure every student feels as though they matter – requires that we work together to work around and through boundaries and silos,” said Carol Sumner, senior associate dean of students with Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU’s Tempe campus.
ISAAT also supports international graduates through the International Connections programme and the International Student Convocation. This allows graduates to remain part of an international academic community beyond graduation.
“ASU international students have taken the first step by choosing to leave their home country and study in the US,” said Daniel Hoyle, associate director of the International Students Scholar Center.
“To continue this journey, we hope to walk many students down the path of awareness and creativity as a global citizen during their time at ASU to prepare them for the world that awaits them after they graduate.”