International Student Orientation Welcomes Islander Students From Around the World

Published: September 08, 2017

International Student Orientation Welcomes Islander Students From Around the World

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Adjusting to life at a university can be a tough transition for any new student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and new international students may face unique challenges like potential language barriers and navigating a new country. That is why New International Student Orientation is prepared to provide new students with the needed tools to ensure a successful and enriching start at the Island University. Orientation kicked off Aug. 22 at the University Center when 50 students from diverse backgrounds and cultures came together for exposure to helpful resources, food, drink and other activities.

“The purpose of the International Student Orientation is to welcome students to the University and guide them on important rules and regulations,” said Elizabeth Reyes, International Student Advisor in the Office of International Education (OIE) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who took the lead in the planning of the event. “Our correspondence with students begins from the moment they are accepted into A&M-Corpus Christi. The orientation is the final step of a lengthy process for our students, leaving them with a sense of relief like‒ ‘Ok, I’m here! Now, let’s get to work.’”

Adebukunola “Bukky” Babalola, a Graduate Assistant and International Service Advisor in the OIE, acted as the host of the event. Babalola, who is originally from Lagos, Nigeria, says being an international student has its perks and challenges.

“I am most determined to make my family and country proud,” said Babalola, a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, who is also working on earning her master’s degree in communication. “Improving my career prospects was one of the major reasons I decided to study abroad. Adaptability, multicultural dynamism and a strong self-motivation are some of the advancements I have gained as an international student.”

One of the students attending the orientation was Shatar Ganbaatar, a graduate student earning her master’s degree in general business. She came all the way from Mongolia to learn at the Island University. This isn’t her first year at A&M-Corpus Christi, and she was excited to help new students.

“Settling down the first few months is really challenging, especially when you don’t know anyone,” said Ganbaatar. “Once you get used to it, it’s really easy and fun. I fell in love with the climate here and the ocean on this beautiful island.”

As a campus filled with different cultures and nationalities, the Island University hosts many events to not only showcase international voices, but also ensure these students succeed in their new home. At the orientation, students were made aware of how to apply for jobs, how to efficiently maximize the resources available here at the Island University, how to get to know each other and other techniques to ensure a successful stay on the Island.

This event is the second annual fall orientation hosted by the Office of International Education. OIE, located on the second floor of the University Center, is dedicated to ensuring a successful education and experience for international Islander students.