State Side Home: International Orientation

by Rachel Pledger '07

August 29-31 launched the fall 2006 International Orientation for the largest incoming class since September 2001. Eighty-nine students from more than twenty different countries participated in the three-day orientation where they learned how to adapt to life in an American university.

During the first day, students registered with International Student Services (ISS) staff and received informational packets. Throughout the day, students attended informational sessions from how to open a bank account to purchasing a phone plan. Volunteers then led small groups on tours around APU, familiarizing students with the campus while taking the time to pick up student IDs, mail keys, and set up Cougars' Den accounts.

"I did not have any orientation my freshman year because I was two weeks late coming to school, but I believe that the information that we provided for the international students was helpful. We made sure that they feel APU is their new family and their new home for a while," said volunteer and international student Russel Anwar '08.

Day two included academic registration sessions, followed by an evening of celebration with dinner and a movie. On the last day, Director of Alumni Relations Craig Wallace hosted a barbecue and pool party at his home. While not mandatory, upwards of thirty international students were in attendance.