Danni Liu, 2nd-year Biostatistics Student
The idea of studying abroad could be exciting or maybe somewhat a little bit intimidating – to meet with people from diverse cultural background and also to adapt to a quite different new life living in a foreign country. However, from my personal experience, I feel that it is fun and exciting to be an international student at RSPH for the reason that there are always so many programs and services with so much support and assistance every step along the way.
Global Peer Network (GPN)
Believe it or not, this program actually starts even BEFORE you arrive in the U.S.! Yes, it is a program that international students could sign up for during the summer after getting accepted by RSPH. Through this program, each incoming international student will get matched with a new domestic student at Rollins and start to talk via emails. Although I did not participate this program last summer (which I did regret lots), my friends who are in this program all agree that they have benefited so much through the GPN. Not only could they get themselves familiar with the language and culture before their arrival, but more importantly their friendship with the incoming domestic students also help them make a much smoother transition to their new life in the U.S.! What is more, there are also many individual meet-ups as well as social events for those who participate in the GPN program throughout the semester, such as Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Party, Thanksgiving Potluck Party, and Game & Trivia Night, etc. If you like to make new friends and are open to explore diverse culture, I would highly recommend you to participate in this program! You could expect an email from our International Students Program Associate Ms. Holly Patrick sometime this summer regarding more information about the program.
Rollins International Student Advisory Board (RISAB) and Rollins International Student Association (RISA)
The Rollins International Student Advisory Board, also called RISAB, is made up of 14 international students at Rollins including both 1st– and 2nd–years. As board members, our major responsibility is to act as student leaders in encouraging discussions, collecting feedback and advocating for the needs of international students at RSPH. We typically have monthly meetings with our International Students Program Associate Ms. Holly Patrick during the academic year, through which we could inform and advise the Office of Student Services on the issues of concern to international students. We respect diverse cultures and are committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding within the Rollins community. Over the past school year, we not only coordinated and participated in some special events, but also helped and promoted the formation of our very first official international student organization at RSPH – the Rollins International Student Association (RISA), which now has been officially chartered by the Rollins SGA! If interested, please stay tuned for more fun activities in the upcoming academic year! Or, better join us in the fall to share your great thoughts and ideas on creating more events and providing a supportive environment for our international students!
Office of International Student Life (OISL)
You may or may not have heard that there is a newly opened office called the Office of International Student Life (OISL), which is under the Division of Campus Life and mainly focuses on serving the needs of Emory’s international student population. I personally have been participating in the Conversation Partner Program hosted by OISL, from which I got matched with a domestic student whom I usually meet with once or twice every two weeks. To me myself, I think it is a very helpful program because my conversation partner and I could learn each other’s native language and culture through our casual meetings. And of course, it is definitely a great way to make new friends from other schools, or maybe even from Emory College! Besides, there are a couple of other activities sponsored by OISL available right now, such as International Coffee Hour, Homegoods Handout Program, International Student Debate Program, World Cup Tournament & International Festival, and so many more! You could definitely explore all the fun events and helpful services at the following website:http://oisl.emory.edu/index.html
I hope my blog was helpful. If you need more information regarding Rollins International Orientation (RIO), ESL resources and other programs and services for Rollins international students, please visit http://sph.emory.edu/current_students/esl/index.html.