International students celebrate new semester

StudentsSome 150 international students were joined by faculty, staff and community members at the International Services Office annual welcome back reception to celebrate the start of a new school year at UNI.

Many students dressed in clothing from their native countries and participated in the traditional country roll call.  The reception gave returning students the opportunity to reconnect with each other, and new students were able to connect with other international students. 

Ross Schupbach, student adviser for international services, welcomed the students and remarks were heard from President Ben Allen and Kurt Meredith, interim assistant provost for international programs.

During his speech, Meredith said that the welcome reception event is an important time for new and returning international students to get together. 

President Allen echoed Meredith's words of welcome and gave students some valuable advice.  He encouraged students to not only take the time to study but also enjoy and participate in extra curricular activities and get involved with campus organizations. 

He also emphasized the importance of taking time to explore their surroundings. 

"Many students believe the U.S. is the west coast and east coast, but take the time to travel through the state of Iowa and the Midwest because it's the heart of America."

The welcome reception was the culmination of a week-long orientation for new international students.   

Each semester, UNI's International Services Office provides an orientation and registration program to help new international students with the transition from their home countries to UNI. 

Throughout the week, students learned about academic procedures, available on-campus services and college life at UNI.  Numerous social events were held for the students, including shopping days, leisure time at the WRC and a "first Friday party" to celebrate the end of the first week of classes. 

This fall, there are 480 international students, representing 59 countries outside the U.S., studying at UNI.