International Welcome Team expands to offer seamless experience for new students

· 3 min read

International Welcome Team expands to offer seamless experience for new students

International Welcome Team
Shridula Hegde (right) talks with Katie Brooks during international student welcome activities in 2019 at the Lincoln Airport.

Starting the college journey can be intimidating for many, but starting that journey in another country comes with its own set of challenges.

Students who are interested in supporting this transition for new international students arriving to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are invited to apply for the International Welcome Team by 11:59 p.m. March 17.

Since 2015, the International Welcome Team has helped new undergraduate international students acclimate to the university, introduced them to the Lincoln community and better understand American culture. This year, the position has expanded to joint management by New Student Enrollment, University Housing and the International Student and Scholar Office for a more seamless student experience.

“We’re excited to coordinate with our campus partners so that the peer leaders with whom new students connect upon arrival are the same leaders who are supporting them throughout the semester. It will make for a more enriching experience for the leaders, provide consistency for the new students and foster collaboration across departments,” said Teresa Lostroh, associate director of New Student Enrollment.

In the past, new international students would be transitioned to various staff members across New Student Enrollment, University Housing and ISSO. With the Welcome Team’s reimagining, students will instead see the same individuals and be able to form lasting relationships during their first year that better support their success. Team members will be hired for the entire academic year to guide new students through arrival and orientation, help them check into their residence hall and organize cultural and social events throughout the year.

“I applied [to International Welcome Team] because I wanted to be a part of a group student leaders that promoted and celebrated diversity and culture,” said Anamaría Guzmán Cardenas, a neuroscience major from Bogotá, Colombia. “I wanted to be able to make an impact on student lives, help them transition into college, and set them up for a fulfilling and successful college experience.”

The Welcome Team expansion is part of an ongoing effort to better support the university’s international students, as outlined in the recently released Forward Together global strategy. It also supports the goal to make students future and world ready by offering students hands-on experience in building intercultural competency.

“Through the International Welcome Team, I learned how diverse and different everyone’s perspective is,” said Shri Hegde, a veterinary science major from Mumbai, India. “I am able to put my thoughts into words in such a way at people can understand. I will use this skill in the future no matter where I go and what I study.”

All undergraduate students, international and domestic, are encouraged to apply for the paid Welcome Team position on Handshake by March 17. Applicants with previous experience in mentoring, leadership or working with those from different cultural backgrounds and a desire to help new international students would make strong candidates. Welcome Team members must attend a team retreat on April 18 and be available semester orientation. Details are available on the NSE website.

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