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We’re not in Kansas anymore… Building Blocks for Effective International Student Orientations Allison Ludlam & Sean Milton, Orientation Coordinators Office.

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Presentation on theme: "We’re not in Kansas anymore… Building Blocks for Effective International Student Orientations Allison Ludlam & Sean Milton, Orientation Coordinators Office."— Presentation transcript:

1 We’re not in Kansas anymore… Building Blocks for Effective International Student Orientations Allison Ludlam & Sean Milton, Orientation Coordinators Office of International Student & Scholar Services Northern Arizona University

2 Trends in ISOs Extended programs (up to 12 weeks at U of Toronto) OR Pared-down programs to prevent ‘information overload’ Pre-Arrival programs First-Year seminar programs Online orientations Students asked to pay (for orientation, or for R&B, or both) International populations are more likely than in the past to be UG, and IEP students Mentoring programs Focusing on ‘engagement’ and ‘attachment’ with the university and not develop cliques based on nationality

3 Background Info for NAU NAU’s international population 1050 F-1 and J-1 students (70%/30%), countries Largest groups – Chinese, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Korean, Brazilian, German Degree students Undergraduate - First-year, Transfer, 1-2-1, 2+2, 1+3 Graduate IEP students Admitted to major (conditional) IEP only Exchange Special Programs Brazilian Science Mobility Fulbright Other

4 Intake patterns at NAU Fall – F-1 and J-1 students Spring Summer – less than 50 Few SEVIS transfers Approx. 50% are IEP PROBLEMS:  Late Arrivals  No-Shows

5 Our Goals Cover the necessary info (immigration, university, academics) Facilitate university requirements (advising, registration, immunizations, etc.) Intro to university offices/resources (ISSS, health, counseling, tutoring, PD, etc.), faces, and locations Warm welcome and connect/network/make friends Smooth transition to Living in the U.S. Life as an NAU student OVERALL – Student Success, Retention, Happiness (and our survival) = EFFECTIVE ORIENTATION

6 Sessions and workshops Immigration session Living in the U.S. U.S. Academics and tips for success Employment (rules and looking for on-campus work) Legal issues Using the university SIS Making Friends Health (health tips, health insurance, campus health) Other: Student panel (topical or open-ended, U.S. life/academics) Banking open house, Resource Fair Academic Advising & Registration Language testing/placement for IEP students Immunization Clinics Social events (small group dinners, pizza party, coffee time, ice cream social) Tours (campus, library, health, recreation)

7 ‘Evolving’ Orientation at NAU Using technology effectively (SUNAPSIS) USB drives Social Networking Online Orientation Programming ideas – throwing things out there to see what ‘sticks’ ‘Welcome Week’ vs. ‘Orientation’ event Adapting to university changes (calendar, facilities, policies, etc.) Orientation Committee

8 Challenges & Responses Low- or No-English students > Translators for events, translated important docs Late Arriving students > Online Orientation, Check-in and other requirements can be programmed as ‘self-service’ Students who are not interested (only attend what is truly mandatory) > Online Orientation requirement, effective scheduling, giveaways & promos Maintaining university continuity as to personnel and schedules/staying informed > Build network of Orientation VIPS across campus to help

9 Ideas/Tips Get buy-in from anyone and everyone that can and should be involved across campus Don’t duplicate programming already happening, integrate international students as much as possible into existing programs Don’t be afraid to try new ideas, and spend money Don’t be afraid to fail, and try to figure out what the failure means – bad idea? Bad schedule? Poor execution? Use ‘Legacy’ events (proven winners) to build your schedule Giveaways and promos – everyone loves ‘em! Build network of volunteers (current students) Build your network of off-campus VIPs

10 THANKS for attending our session! Allison Ludlam & Sean Milton, Orientation Coordinators Office of International Student & Scholar Services Northern Arizona University Questions? Comments?


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