Quad Day makes strong impression on international community

As one of the biggest Welcome Week events, Quad Day is often the best first impressions of the University and the campus for incoming freshmen and international students alike.

Students arrive well before noon to attempt to sort through the 600-plus organizations the University has to offer, and this year’s Quad Day — now in its 43rd year — will certainly be no different.

While some incoming students might be familiar with the concept of Quad Day, international students typically get their first glimpse of American college culture on this day.

One such student who was left impressed by the event was Ben D’hooge, an exchange student at the University for the Fall 2013 semester. While studying at the University’s College of Business, D’hooge was able to take in the event from a new perspective.

“The concept of a Quad Day was completely new for me, so I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived,” he said. “When I did arrive at the Quad with some other international students, I was kind of overwhelmed by the amount of people and the amount of different clubs that were available to join.”

D’hooge said that while he may have been a little overwhelmed, the event is pertinent for international students.

“It makes it a lot easier for us to get in contact with all the different clubs, which in turn helps to integrate yourself on campus,” he said.

This is an opinion shared by Shaurya Dhir, a native of India and sophomore in FAA, who was also left impressed by last year’s Quad Day.

“Quad Day was an interesting setup. I liked the idea and met some nice people,” he said. “I was expecting to meet new people, learn new stuff and have a good time, which I (did).”

Raunaq Jaisinghani, another native of India and junior in Business, agreed and said the Quad Day experience is integral to Welcome Week.

“(Quad Day) is extremely beneficial for us international students as we are entering a brand new system of education on international soils,” Jaisinghani said. “(It) was a brand new experience for me, as I was exposed to so many different things all in one … I would still go for each and every Quad Day to check out all the new developments made on campus and all the new clubs coming up.”

D’hooge described the event as comparable to impressions he already had about going to college in the U.S.

“As a Belgian college student, the only image we get from American universities is what we see in movies, and I found it to be pretty close to reality,” he said.

For D’hooge, it was the variety of clubs at Quad Day that impressed him the most.

“In Belgium, for example, we are not really used to having all these different clubs and sports teams available in high school or college, so it really made me and the other Belgian students adapt to life at an American university,” he said. “We don’t have anything that’s even close to Quad Day as we don’t have that many clubs and sports teams. And for the ones we do have, you kind of need to find out yourself how to contact them.”

Dhir, on the other hand, says he isn’t new at all to the concept of a recruitment event similar to Quad Day.

“During some festivals (back home) people set up stalls and advertise different communities and clubs, which is a setup not too different from Quad Day,” he said. “Although Quad Day was a good event, I don’t think it necessarily helped. The transition was easy enough — everything was done.”

Eliseo can be reached at [email protected]