One small idea leading to a better international student experience

I found the following quote on and thought it fit right with my main project that is currently going on.

Five years ago, William Penn University was home for 11 international students. During the 2012-13 school year, that number will be 36. Eighteen of those students are upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors and seniors) while the other half are all first years and new to the William Penn University family and campus.

Knowing that the numbers are starting to become continually higher than what William Penn University is used to, one of my larger and on-going projects this year is to provide some sort of structural support that helps the university coordinate better student services for our international members.

The first project, which was given to me by an idea of the arrival package I received when traveling to South Africa with Interstudy, has been almost a month in the making – and is reaching the busy points as everything falls into place. This year, for the first time ever, all of our new international students – yes, all 18 of them – will receive a “welcome package.”

What may you ask will be included? Items such as the following:

* a pillow
* a set of clean sheets
* a blanket
* a set of towels
* a small garbage can for their rooms
* some hangers
* a notebook
* food and drinks (such as fruit, popcorn, granola bars, candy, juice)
* and an information packet of papers that will help them adjust in a quicker and smoother process than in previous years.

As the quote by President Kennedy says above, “One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” My main difference that I am trying to make this fall is helping our international students feel a stronger sense of welcome and belonging at William Penn University. I also hope to be an open and available service to students who need it. I believe I will succeed at it too – and believing in yourself is half the battle of making a difference.