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Reception for Ohio State international students to celebrate those graduating

The Office of International Affairs will host its Graduation Reception for international students 10 a.m. Monday at the Enarson Classroom Building.

Graduation Reception is a long-standing tradition held by the Office of International Affairs at end of every semester. It allows for graduating international students to celebrate with their families and friends, share their future plans, reflect on their experiences at Ohio State, and stay connected to the school after graduation, said Renée Bishai, program coordinator for global engagement at OIA.

Bishai said a small-scale celebration will give families and friends more intimate space to share the joy of graduation with the international community.

Sophia Li, a graduating fourth-year in neuroscience and psychology from China, said her mom would visit her in the U.S. for the first time since she came here four-and-a-half years ago.

“I am super pumped,” Li said. “My birthday is right around Christmas so it is the first birthday I get to have my mom to be here in four-and-a-half years.”

Li said graduating from college meant a lot to her family.

“My mom and grandma were really curious about other cultures too, so they were really proud and happy for me to study abroad, to interact with different people, to act independently and study what I always wanted to study,” Li said.

Li said she applied for nine graduate schools for occupational therapy and hopes to be enrolled in a program next fall. Besides interviewing for graduate schools, Li has made plans to travel after graduation, to work as a behavioral technician and to visit family back home in China.

Bishai said meeting students’ families is her favorite part of the reception.

“It’s exciting to meet their families and be able to see how proud they are for the work their students have accomplished, be able to tell parents I’ve gotten to know your students really well over the last four years and I am really proud of what they’ve done,” Bishai said.

“It’s nice to be able to share that with the families and thank them for the sacrifices they made and the support they gave to their students allowing the students to be successful here,” Bishai added.

Bishai said she hoped students sharing their experiences at the reception would inspire other international students struggling with cultural differences and academic difficulties.

“I heard a student say when they first got here, they were overwhelmed and insecure and now became so successful and made a home,” Bishai said. “Sometimes I really wish the first-year students could attend the graduation reception and see in three, four years or more, such differences.”

One comment

  1. This is a wonderful touch, considering that being an international student away from home is difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all at OS or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest!

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