As an international student studying at Appalachian State University, we have a 3 day orientation that we are required to attend to prepare us for life at university. As it is held before all the other students arrive on campus, it does not seem too overwhelming when we arrive. App State is home to over 18,000 students!
It all starts on the Monday when we load up on to buses in Charlotte and are transferred to Boone, North Carolina. We then have an hour to check into our rooms before we meet for lunch.
Over lunch there is a welcome speech and introductions of the important people we need to know. Light entertainment is provided by a local band along with traditional dancing.
Outside of the solarium is the international hallway. Here hang flags from all the countries represented by international students studying for that semester at App State.
Part of the orientation schedule is the resources fair. All important aspects were represented such as campus police, the local bus transport Appalcart (free service for all), clubs specific to international students and health services.
One of the lovely faculty, Cathy Carter Ziegler started the Pay It Forward donation program for international students. When students leave, Cathy will take any unwanted items to store until the next round of students arrive. Students can borrow the items for free for the duration of their stay, returning when they leave along with any additional unwanted items. Lets be realistic, with airline luggage allowances we cannot take very much home!
We also had a tour around the very photogenic campus to collect our student I.D. cards that have a very pretty picture of the sunset on them. As we strolled up the hill we passed the statue of Yosef, the school mascot. The reason he is called Yosef is that back in the day the interpretation of mountain folk when they said ‘Yourself’ it sounded like ‘Yosef’, hence the name.
After a gruelling 3 days of information overload it was nice to see such a stunning sunset as we prepared for the general Uni Orientation. To see what I mean about gruelling check out the full schedule here: Fall 2018 International Student Orientation Schedule
Coming up next, University Orientation. In Australia we have O Week, here at App State the main activities happen over the first weekend with a few others scattered over the first few weeks. Welcome to the 3,300 new freshman and and welcome back to the other 15,000 students!