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.”