Remember when you first arrived on campus and someone helped you?  Or do you remember the experience of studying abroad in a different place and being helped by someone to get adjusted in a new environment? Or are you just interested in helping new international students from around the world and making new friends before fall classes begin?  Helping others is both satisfying and fun, and we have a great volunteer program to get you involved!

The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) welcomes volunteers to help with the Fall 2012 International Student Orientation (ISO) program on August 13-24, 2012. This is an exciting opportunity to help MSU assist approximately 2,000 new international students so they can transition to a great start on campus and in the community.

I am amazed at the number of students who volunteer every summer because they loved their volunteer experience so much the first time.  I notice that not only do the volunteers gain new friends among the incoming students, but the 200 volunteers themselves bond and sign up together year after year!  The two big days of orientation (August 20 and 21) are hard work, but you will laugh a lot and have a blast. All volunteers will be properly trained on August 14 so you can feel confident in your role as part of this diverse and dynamic team. Orientation Leaders (OLs) must also attend a full-day of training on August 15 in addition to the 14th.  We’ll feed you free lunch both days of training and keep you awake with lots of sugar and caffeine!

ISO would not be a success without the help of our volunteers from all over the world.  Peers can give much better advice than those of us who sit at our desks all day, and current students make the experience much more relaxing and fun for new students than administrators.  Not to mention, 2,000 new students are a bit much for the 15 OISS staff to handle on our own!

So, other than new friends from 130 or more countries and an awesome volunteer experience for your resume, what’s in it for you?

~ Opportunities to develop skills in intercultural communication and leadership

~ Exposure to an increasingly globalized community

~ The chance to truly influence someone’s life

~ An OISS volunteer shirt and invitations to several events, including a “thank you”  reception

~ A gift and a certificate of participation

~ The satisfaction of helping others and being part of the (super cool) OISS team

~ The experience of leading small groups

~ The chance to move into your residence hall as early as August 13 free of charge

If all of the above doesn’t convince you, I know you can’t resist the opportunity to work with me and hear my corny jokes, occasional southern accent and frequent singing! What are you waiting for? Sign up and tell your friends!

To get started on your online application, please create an account on the volunteer database at the following link:

Also, check out our Facebook event and ask others who have volunteered if this isn’t the most awesome experience ever!

Amber Cordell is an OISS International Student Advisor and the Coordinator of International Student Orientation.  She is also a facilitator of Personal Leadership Seminars and an instructor of EAD 315: Student Leadership Practices.