This month marked the largest starting group of international students we’ve seen in 2016, with 65 students hailing from over 20 different countries. Students came from places such as Australia and Belgium to Ecuador and Turkey.
During registration week, a separate orientation is held specifically for these international students to give them a more personal welcome and help them to adjust to life in the United States. Covering everything from where to purchase furniture to how to open a bank account, Full Sail brings in business representatives from the community to give students a personal connection that they can rely on as a resource for information.
The entire evening is dedicated to mixing in required information with some fun, and one of the most exciting parts of orientation is when the students introduce themselves with their name, originating country, program, and a fun fact about themselves. This is where the bonding begins, as students find out what they have in common ranging from their home country to an interest in a video game.
The International Student Society (ISS) also has representatives attend orientation in support of their new classmates. “They really try to connect with the new students and let them know they’re here for them and that they’ve gone through the same thing,” said International Enrollment Manager Lina Al-Wali. “Getting the students acclimated into life in the States comes into play with the ISS.”
“You can see a transformation from the beginning of the session to the end,” said International Housing Coordinator Arti Bagga. “They feel a lot more comfortable and at home, and it’s really neat to see how quickly they form bonds with one another.”