The Office of International Students, Scholars and Programs (ISSP) at the Reves Center for International Studies has announced a fall schedule full of weekly events intended to introduce William & Mary international students to all aspects of American culture.
“I’ve studied and lived abroad, and I know how difficult it can be to get involved in the local community as an international student,” says ISSP graduate assistant and lead events coordinator Wendy Couch. “Our events give international students the opportunity to get involved at William & Mary and the surrounding areas, and to have some great experiences. Our goal is to create a strong international community, and trips and events really allow us to bond and build friendships across programs, nationalities and differences.”
During the event planning process a number of components are considered to bring W&M international students the broadest range of opportunities possible, often with their domestic student peers. Outdoor activities, indoor entertainment, cultural encounters and day trips offer meaningful opportunities for student interaction. Events combine academic, instructional, cultural and service components to contribute to a well-rounded education, as well as to facilitate personal and intellectual growth.
“I tried to create a variety of options each month,” reports Couch. “Sometimes it’s hard for international students without cars to get off campus and we try to plan a mix of trips and events to give everyone the opportunity to thrive at William & Mary.”
In addition to offering activities in a variety of locations, ISSP events also offer international students a number of interest options. A day trip to Virginia Beach, visiting the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife, participating in a haunted hayride and baking holiday cookies are just a few of the items on the fall schedule.
“We have a good mix of active, cultural and relaxing activities like hiking, yoga and board-games night,” explains Couch. “Studying at William & Mary can be challenging, and life here shouldn’t be focused entirely on academics. I hope that our trips and events give students a chance to rest, relax and learn about other areas of American university life.”