Three days before the arrival of most of their classmates, first-year students from countries as close as Canada and as far as Japan took the opportunity to settle in and get acquainted with their new home for the next four years. Since Tuesday, they have been welcomed to campus by faculty and staff through a series of events and activities designed to help them get familiar with their surroundings and each other.
“We are pleased to welcome our international first-year students to campus and look forward to the significant way they will contribute to this community over the next four years,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “As a globally-focused institution that values the diverse perspective each culture holds, we appreciate the opportunity to have on campus, full-time, such a strong group of international students.”
At the welcoming picnic at Seneca Lake State Park, Siyan Tao ’16, from Chengdu, China, brought a beautiful yellow fan from her home country. She told her new classmates how the fan is used as an Asian Scholar fan and shared the poem that is inscribed on it. Gathered under a pavilion, each student took a turn talking about his or her home country. David Valenta ’16, who was born in Germany and moved to Netherlands, talked about the landscape of his homeland.
“This is my favorite time of the year it is always such a pleasure and an honor to welcome these new students to campus and help them settle into their new life here,” says Director of International Student Affairs David Gage, who along with Amy Teel, program manager for the Center for Global Education, welcomed the students and offered their support and guidance.
In addition to the President’s Welcome and the picnic, activities for the new students included breakfast with the deans, lunch at the Center for Global Education, shopping, a trip to Watkins Glen State Park, and dinner with the President.
The Classes of 2016 include 46 international students hailing from 17 countries. Students represent Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Palestinian Authority, South Korea Sweden, Taiwan, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
In the photo above, international students gather for a photo with President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan on the steps of the President’s home.