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Rufus helped to welcome Ohio University's newest international students to campus to start the new semester.

Rufus helped to welcome Ohio University's newest international students to campus to start the new semester.

International Student Union Vice President Jenna Grams served as one of the speakers for the Jan. 11 orientation session for new international students.

International Student Union Vice President Jenna Grams served as one of the speakers for the Jan. 11 orientation session for new international students.

Rufus posed with students at the Jan. 11 international orientation session.

Rufus posed with students at the Jan. 11 international orientation session.

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Ohio University welcomes its newest international students


Ohio University welcomed its newest international students to campus during the week of Jan. 6-13, 2018, with a series of orientation activities and special events.

The week began with special sessions led by International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) and other campus units to assist new students with immigration paperwork and provide information on immigration regulations, health insurance, Title IX and safety on campus.

ISFS also sponsored a series of social events throughout the week in order to help the new students make friends and feel comfortable on campus. These events included a campus tour, library tour, shopping trip and a bowling night.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, ISFS hosted its official International Student Welcome event in the Baker University Center Ballrom. ISFS Graduate Assistant Viktoria Marinova kicked off the event by leading an icebreaker session that featured students answering questions when they caught a beach ball. The students provided a wide range of interesting answers, including these responses:

  • One student said the trip from home to Ohio University (he did not say which country he was from) took 40 hours. Marinova added that it took her 36 hours when she first traveled from South Africa to Ohio University.
  • When asked why he chose Ohio University, one student said he made his decision after looking over the University website, seeing photos of the campus and learning about the institution. “I fell in love with it,” he said.
  • A favorite aspect of life in Athens and the U.S. so far is pizza, according to one student.
  • Another student said how much she likes the snow so far.

ISFS Interim Director Diane Cahill also welcomed the new students to the Ohio University campus, which currently has students from 106 countries around the world. Cahill told the new students how proud the University is to have them joining the Bobcat family.

“Ohio University is an inclusive and welcoming community where our differences are celebrated,” Cahill said. She went on to explain that the University is committed to helping its international students succeed and is proud to have so many students from around the globe.

“I want you to know that our university today is celebrating that you are joining the Bobcat community, and we will celebrate your successes as you move through your academic programs,” Cahill said. The newest group of approximately 50 international students will add to the academic and cultural environment of the University.

“Interactions between people from different nations and different cultures greatly enrich the college experience for all of our students,” Cahill added. The new students will benefit from their own interactions with students from around the world, she said. She then encouraged the new students to use the many University resources available to help them while they are on campus. Additional information on University resources was presented during the welcome session.

Also during the morning event, the new students heard from several speakers, including International Student Union Vice President Jenna Grams, Student Senate President Landen Lama, and Graduate Student Senate President Maria Modayil. These speakers welcomed the students and encouraged them to join organizations that they would like to be involved with during their time at Ohio University. 

Cahill also reminded the students during the Jan. 11 event that they should talk with the ISFS staff members any time they need assistance.

“Please know that ISFS is part of this supportive campus and we want you to come to talk to us about any questions or concerns you have now or all throughout your time at Ohio University,” Cahill said.

For additional information on ISFS, please visit the offices in the Walter International Education Center, call 740-593-4330 or send an email to isfs@ohio.edu.