Tuesday, August 15, 2006
ISSO program helps international students assimilateBy Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
The International Students and Scholars Office is launching a new initiative to help international students become acclimated to campus life. The program, OU International Allies, pairs up an international student and a domestic student to provide both with new cultural experiences through social events and individual outings.
“This program is beneficial to all students. The international students can learn where the grocery stores are, where the movie theatres are and practice their English,” said Petra Knoche, assistant director of International Students and Scholars. “The domestic students learn about a new culture and help a fellow student. Many students have never been overseas and this can be one way to learn to appreciate different cultures.”
Students are paired up according to gender and interest. If an American student plans to travel to or learn more about a certain country, ISSO will try to match them with a student from that country.
The local students are encouraged to go with the international students to events like the Pig Roast, International Café Night and OU Athletic events. The students should try to get together once a month. ISSO will also have organized events for the students through out the year.
“Any student can participate in OU International Allies. Undergraduate, graduate students, Ph.D. candidates — anyone who can expose the international students to local and campus culture,” said Knoche.
Students interested in participating in the program should contact Knoche at (248) 370-3358 or email@example.com to provide a brief biography, interests, language experience and contact information.