Imagine waking up in a different country. The people in your classes don’t speak your language. This culture shock might never fade. With the help of the Kent State International Student and Scholar Services, or ISSS, international students have hope.
Kent State University is home to thousands of students from over 100 countries. However, fitting in could be a problem.
To investigate my beat, I went to Van Campen Hall, where the Office of Global Education is located. I spoke with my Key Decision Maker, International Student Advisor Györgyi Mihalyi-Jewell, about different story ideas concerning the issues and programs affecting these students on campus.
Mihalyi-Jewell, once an international student from Hungary, said one of the biggest issues students go through is just the application process.
When a student in another country chooses their University, they must apply and wait months before they receive an answer. If they are accepted, there are piles of financial and immigration paperwork to be completed. An interview at their embassy is required as well.
ACIREMA, spelled “AMERICA” backwards, is an event on campus where native students can pretend to be an international student during the application process. They have the chance to see what students go through before they even come to the United States.
Once these students are permitted into the country, they must register for classes and start their college careers right away. Some may feel uncomfortable to socialize and meet new people, possibly because of language barriers and anxiety of living in America.
This is how the Global Fellows Program began.
This organization reaches out to international students on campus to discuss issues they have or just to help them socialize and meet others. Students can interact with each other by participating in overnight trips, such as sports events, ski trips and national parks. For spring break, students have an opportunity to travel to Philadelphia or New York.
The residence halls on campus are doing the same.
The International Village Experience in Clark Hall, where freshman students can room with international students, is happening this semester. Tabetha Mally, the Resident Hall Director, is a contact I am considering pursuing in order to get a better idea of how the housing event works and its benefits.
Another program I found interesting is the ESL Center. ESL stands for English as a Second Language. Marianna Nesterenko, the Academic Program director, and Jeffery Judge, a certified ESL professor, are two contacts I am also pursuing for stories on how it can educate students and help their transition into our culture.
These were just some of the many potential stories I was given, so I am excited to learn more about international students and how to make sure they take away what it truly means to be a Golden Flash.