Dr. Li Yang, the Director of the International Center and the Intensive English Language Program, and Katelyn Sullivan, the administrative assistant, share with us 9 things we need to know about the International Center here at Rowan.
1. Rowan hosts 170 international students
The International Center assures that our international students have a smooth transition coming from abroad and have no obstacles while studying at Rowan.
2. Staff receive ongoing training
“Our staff is very experienced and committed to their job,” explains Dr. Li about their experienced crew members. “We receive training almost every year, because of constant immigration regulations changes. So in order to keep up with all of the changes, our staff members attend regional and sometimes national trainings.”
3. We have an International House
Some students choose to live in on-campus housing, but many international students prefer to live in the International House on State Street. Katelyn says, “Many foreign students like to cook, and the International House is a great place for them because it has kitchen facilities. We have great relationship with an RA there, and she tries to do different events to get the students involved socially, as it can be challenging to adapt to a new culture quickly.”
4. Scholarly research
The International Center works closely with the Registrar Office to ensure that incoming international scholars have all their paperwork in order, so that they can conduct research here at Rowan and have their credits transferred.
5. Growing partnerships
A main part of Dr. Li’s job is establishing partnerships: “Our office works with all Rowan departments. For example, if someone wants to work with mechanical engineering and pursue 2+2 program, we work in-between, do some translation, talk on behalf of that student, held the negotiation and finalize the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). When faculty wants to start a partnership with a foreign university, they find a form on our website, submit it for us to review and send it to the Provost office.”
6. Separate Orientation
The International Center organizes orientation aimed specifically for their students. Students will learn things like: maintaining status, ways to find and print necessary documents, and different services Rowan offers. “We encourage other offices to present at the orientation,” says Katelyn. “The Writing Center has talked about specific tutors who work with students whose English is a second or third language and explained how to arrange an appointment.”
7. American holidays
You can’t immerse into a foreign culture without celebrating its holidays. And Rowan international students are no exception. Dr. Li shares that she invites international students over for a holiday dinner, “Surprisingly, our students always have a place to spend the holidays. Many students actually travel back home for major holidays, especially for Christmas.”
8. Welcome pack
“We provide a complimentary welcome pack for incoming students or scholars living on campus, that contains: a blanket, a sheet set, a pillow, a bath towel, some snacks and water,” specifies Katelyn. “We don’t want students to go to the store for essentials right after they arrive from an airport, so we drop it off at their dorm. But we also make students aware about a midnight Wal-Mart shuttle available on the move-in day.”
9. Rowan After Hours Around the World
This March the International Center will partner with Rowan After Hours to take part in “RAH Around the World,” where students will get “passports” to visit different booths to celebrate various world cultures.
By: Natalia Panfilova