12 Aug How Universities Welcome and Encourage International Students
Wondering how universities are simplifying the transition overseas for international students? Read on to discover how.
International students have a lot to deal with when they move overseas to study, whether it’s learning a new language and local customs or making friends and diving into university life.
Whatever help they need, your university’s international office should be there to answer any questions, point them in the right direction, or simply offer support.
To meet this objective, there are a range of initiatives that your university could introduce.
First and foremost, all international students should be introduced to your university with a variety of welcoming sessions and networking opportunities.
These should be organized and promoted by the international office, encouraging international students to meet their fellow students, socialize, and get acquainted with the university.
These sessions can be both informational and social, allowing international students to get up to speed on your university and how it operates while integrating with their peers.
Activities tailored to international students
Beyond these informational welcoming sessions, your international office should also create an activities program that’s tailored to international students.
These activities should focus on introducing students to the university, the local area, and local customs.
Consider what fun activities and attractions your university and local area have to offer and plan a social and cultural program around these points of interest.
For those international students who don’t speak the local language, it’s always helpful to run language programs to help them adjust and communicate with ease.
Set up language tutorials for students at different levels of fluency so they can learn no matter their proficiency.
If possible, it might be a good idea to set up some one-on-one language sessions between international students and local students, allowing them to not only improve their fluency but also forge friendships.
The international office should also consider setting up mentoring sessions for international students.
These sessions could be between international students and faculty members, local students, or international office representatives.
This will allow international students to share any grievances, identify areas of concern, seek advice, and access emotional or mental health support.
Another avenue that your international office may want to explore is establishing a help desk within their offices.
This empowers international students to pop by when they can and seek support from a dedicated help desk representative.
While this may be outside the boundaries of your office’s budget, it’s something to consider.
Remove any unnecessary paperwork and back-and-forth communication by investing in a digital system that will streamline the way your international office processes and tracks student mobility and international partnerships.
This investment will allow your international office to collate and manage all mobility activity in one simple system, improving efficiency and leaving more time to focus on the students.