Know your campus resources
August 15, 2018
The international student experience at the University comes with unique challenges. On top of adjusting to the academic and social demands of college and to life away from home, international students are learning to navigate life in a foreign country. Fortunately, the University offers a variety of resources to make your time at the University go as smoothly as possible. By being aware of what they are and how to access them, it will be much easier to handle challenges as they arise.
International Student and Scholar Services
You’re probably already aware of International Student and Scholar Services since they keep track of all international students’ records, including travel, financial and visa information. But ISSS continues to lend support and resources to students once they’ve arrived on campus through advising and orientation programming. Any legal or financial questions or concerns about your student status can be handled there.
The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations
The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations offers a wide selection of programs throughout the academic year specifically for international students to adjust to life on campus and to learn about the campus community. The GLOBE program offers international students an opportunity to connect with domestic students and share aspects of their cultures with one another and to build genuine friendships doing so. The OIIR also frequently partners with programs such as the Asian American Cultural House, New Student Programs and University Housing for dinners, lecture events and outings intended for cultural awareness and connection. They also offer trips and programs during school breaks for students who might not be able to travel home.
University Housing is a great way to connect with students on campus and to get an up-close view of the diverse student body. If you’re staying in a residence hall, remember the Resident Advisers and Multicultural Advocates are great resources if you have any questions about life on campus. They can direct you toward a solution or resources for any type of issue you might be facing. If you know you need to stay on campus over break, plan ahead and be aware that residents in ISR and PAR are able to stay in their rooms during fall, winter and spring breaks for an additional charge. Temporary break housing is also available at these locations for students who live in other halls on campus.
The Counseling Center
The Counseling Center offers mental health services to all University students, including programs specific to the experience of international students. These include Cultural Transition and Adaptation programs and the Interconnect Dinner and Dialogue series, hosted in partnership with the ISSS, OIIR, Asian American Cultural Center and Women’s Resources Center. For a general counseling appointment, the Counseling Center uses a same-day scheduling system so you’ll need to call and make an appointment by 7:50 a.m. on the day you would like to talk to a counselor. Emergency services are also available. Service are covered through student health fees.
The Career Center
The Career Center offers a selection of programs designed to assist international students in their career planning process. Career counselors can assist you in securing work authorization and in connecting with companies that typically hire international students. They also offer a career certificate program designed to aid international students in procuring career planning skills through weekly workshops, online activities and peer mentoring.
Remember as you adjust to life at the University, and in the United States, there is no failure in asking for help. No matter the scale of the challenges you might be facing, the University is here to support you and values your presence on campus. Your success and your well-being matters. The resources discussed here are vital, but this is not an exhaustive list. Keep your eyes and ears open for additional resources that might be helpful to your specific situation and never be afraid to ask trusted peers, faculty and staff for guidance.
Katie is a junior in LAS.