International students say farewell
April 30, 1999
When stressed with their studies, international students Miki Shibuya,
from Yokohama, Japan, and Chenelle Lin, from Taiwan, dance in the Oaks Hall.
Shibuya, a sophomore, is an Environmental Biology major with two years left
of school in the states. Lin will be graduating in May with a master's in
Health Administration and Gerontology.
With the academic year coming to an end, international students are
finishing a semester that has been filled with challenges and new experiences.
"One thing I learned is the difference in the way people think
and express themselves here, in comparison to where I come from," said
Wedyana Moelijono, from Indonesia. "Self-expression is very important
because if you don't have the courage to express yourself, people will not
get to know you."
Moelijono will be graduating this May with her master's degree in international
management and finance.
The International Student Organization has built a program that has
been successful in dealing with international students' needs.
Marcy Garcia, administrative assistant in the ISO, is in contact with
each student before they arrive in the country.
Garcia's responsibilities include making sure that each student has
the proper papers, passports and visas so overseas traveling will be an
When students arrive in the United States, Garcia picks them up at the
local airport and ensures that their accommodations are comfortable.
The international students have a two-day orientation. They are able
to meet the faculty and other students. The ISO has also implemented a mentor/mentee
program. In this program, each student from another country is assigned
to a mentor on campus, who is there to help these students adjust to campus
In addition to this program, Garcia is the adviser of the ISO. This
group tries to deal with the culture shock that some students may experience
from being away from home and to promote intercultural understanding.
"Around October, some students begin to get homesick," said
Garcia. This program offers students an opportunity to come together and
share their expectations, fears and questions regarding life in a different
ISO also gives the students a chance to see some of the most popular
sites of Southern California. Field trips are a large part of this group.
Disneyland, Hollywood, Las Vegas and various beaches are a few of the students
favorite vacation spots.
The main event that the ISO office prepares for all year is the Spring
Multicultural Fair. This event gives the students a chance to show the rest
of the school a little bit of what their culture is like with traditional
food and dress attire.
This tradition began nine years ago with the participation of other
Students are encouraged to set up booths representing their countries
and dress in their native attire. Other activities include dancing and singing
The international students' year ends with a farewell reception that
takes place in May before the graduation ceremony.
The number of International students that will be graduating this May
total more than 30. The majority of international graduates this year are