New international students face many challenges in studying in the United States. First, the admission process. Educational systems are different around the world. An application may be different than what you expected. Supporting documents may be tough to gather. Educational records need to be translated.
The hard part begins after admission. Navigating the immigration maze is stressful and expensive. Some students have to travel outside of their city or country to find the nearest embassy to sit for a visa interview. Finally, if you receive a visa, you can begin making plans for travel and a move to the United States. Then you arrive, most likely in a place you’ve only seen in photos.
Welcome to your new home.
Support through the process
The Office of International Services does everything it can to simplify the process for new international students. Staff members provide support through the admission process. Students with incomplete applications can expect to receive phone calls and emails explaining what they’re missing. Admitted students receive check-lists in their admission packet with the steps they should take to complete immigration requirements. Emails and phone calls are frequent between new students and staff members.
Another effort to welcome new students resulted in a new Missouri State student organization creation. Global Leaders and Mentors (GLaM) was created from a need to provide a student support to incoming international students. GLaM members started reaching out to new international students over the summer. Students chatted on instant messenger, emailed, and made plans to meet upon arrival.
New International Student Orientation
The official university welcome, New International Student Orientation, is a valuable resource for new international students. Here, they learn about campus resources from experts. Social events help them find a community on campus. Special events help them feel welcomed and valued on campus.
International Bears #BearUP
International Services was lucky to partner with the Missouri State Bears Football team to provide a new event in 2018. The coaches and team hosted an international football clinic to teach new students the basics of American football. Student-athletes led new international students through drills, demonstrated work-outs, and cheered for successes. This once in a lifetime cultural experience gave new students the opportunity to meet new friends from the United States. Student-athletes raved at the bravery of new international students for traveling so far from home for an education. Mutual respect and admiration formed between students who might not find a connection otherwise.