August 18, 2014

International Billikens Arrive on Campus

Saint Louis University welcomed nearly 300 students from 50 countries around the world to campus as part of the International Student Orientation. International Services staff and International Ambassadors began picking up students from the St. Louis Lambert Airport on Aug. 15.

The five-day orientation provides incoming international students with an opportunity to meet their fellow classmates and advisors, complete English proficiency tests and obtain their SLU ID. Students also have the chance to take care of more practical matters, including establishing a bank account and cell phone service, and learning more about American slang and cultural norms.

International students and International Ambassadors shoot hoops at Simon Recreation Center.
International students and International Ambassadors play dodge ball at Simon Recreation Center. Submitted photo

"People often forget that as international students, this group has a slew of additional responsibilities and challenges that they need to deal with," said Scott Fetters, international counselor with the Office of International Services. "International Orientation sets the stage for a smooth transition from life in their home country to life at SLU, St. Louis and America."

The majority of SLU's international students hail from China. Earlier in the summer, the University hosted its first ever SLU 101 in China with events in Shanghai and Beijing.

"International Student Orientation is one of the best times of year for the Office of International Services," said Tim Hercules, director of Student International Services. "It is such a privilege to welcome students into our community at SLU and the United States. Our team of international ambassadors, which includes current domestic and international students, as well as the entire SLU community have been doing an outstanding job in making our students feel welcome."

As part of welcome activities, the students attended a bowling party at Moolah Lanes, enjoyed a catered lunch with the Billiken and took part in basketball and volleyball games at the Simon Recreation Center.

The International Student Orientation leads up to Fall Welcome, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 20. International students will join all incoming and returning students for the week of activities leading up to the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 25.

"Despite all the jet lag these students are experiencing, I have seen a lot of engagement and smiles which is great," Fetters added.

For more information about the International Students Orientation, visit the International Services website.

Keep up with all the latest Fall Welcome news online at the First-Year Experience website. Share Fall Welcome experiences on Facebook and Twitter by tagging videos and photos with "#SLUFW2014."

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