Last month, Indiana University welcomed more than 7,400 international students to its campuses across the state, the largest number since 2019. Before they even make their way to campus, staff from IUB’s Office of International Services and IUPUI’s Office of International Affairs are there to greet them at the Indianapolis International Airport during peak travel times. Students arrived by August 10th to give them plenty of time to settle in before the start of classes and participate in a wide range of activities to prepare them for success and help them get comfortable in their new homes in Indiana. IUPUI and IU Bloomington hosted international new student orientation, a week of dedicated in-person events on both core campuses designed specifically to support students from around the world.
The new class includes students from 167 countries of origin across all six inhabited continents. For students arriving from all over the world, adjusting to life and study in the U.S. can bring challenges, which is why international student-specific orientations are so important. “They get to learn about IU’s campus, culture, and traditions,” explains Mai-Lin Poon, Associate Director of International Student Life at IU Bloomington. “They learn what it means to be a Hoosier, meet people and make friends, learn helpful hints on how to be successful during their college career – and so much more.”
“They learn what it means to be a Hoosier, meet people and make friends, learn helpful hints on how to be successful during their college career – and so much more.”
Bloomington international students kicked off their experience with a tailgate in Dunn Meadow, hosted by Residential Programs and Services (RPS), with food trucks and inflatable obstacle courses. Subsequent days featured an ice cream social, international trivia in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU), and an opportunity to continue one of IU’s traditions –painting the campus bridge on Eagleson Avenue. Bloomington’s First Year Experience (FYE) Welcome Week also featured zip lining and roller skating at Welcome Back Late Nite, and movie screenings in the IU outdoor pool.
Students in Indianapolis were greeted with a welcome reception to celebrate their arrival, campus tours, a resource fair, and workshops that covered everything from safety to sponsorships. International Peer Mentors taught students how to use IUPUI’s JagLine buses and to navigate U.S. supermarkets with a trip to Kroger. The Office of International Affairs hosted a “Free Market” where new international students could shop for gently used items donated by residents of the International House (“I-House”) Residence Based Learning Community. The Chancellor welcomed all new students to campus at the 44th Annual Ice Cream Social, and IUPUI’s Weeks of Welcome series featured Light up the Night, Jaguar Roller Skate Party, Student Involvement Expo, and IUPUI Indy Eleven Night. “It was so heartwarming and welcoming,” said one IUPUI student after the week concluded.
IU’s support, engagement, and guidance will continue as the semester continues: “Campus partners love welcoming our new international students by creating these amazing programs,” says Poon. “From RPS to the IMU to FYE and more, we love working with them and look forward to our continued partnerships throughout the year to support international students!”