Dear International Students and Scholars at Michigan State University,

My name is James Dorsett, and I am the Director of the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) at MSU. I am writing on behalf of OISS to share with you some things we want you to know in light of the current state of the world.

james-dorsett
OISS Director, James Dorsett

MSU is home to 7568 international students and scholars from 131 countries around the world as of Fall 2015. Also MSU is a top 10 producer of global citizens according to the Open Doors Report released this year on Nov. 16, 2015. No matter where you are from, once you arrive at MSU, you are all Spartans.

At OISS, our mission is to support all international students and scholars at MSU with immigration advising, programming for academic, cultural and social adjustment, and contributing to the internationalization of MSU by providing opportunities for cross-cultural interactions.

At OISS, our staff, student workers and interns come from different backgrounds with different religious and cultural beliefs. Even though we may see the world differently, we understand the importance of being open-minded and embracing diversity. Our passion lies in helping international students and scholars like you achieve your goals and make the world a better place with what you have learned at MSU.

In another words, OISS wants to be your home away from home by helping you in all kinds of ways. We are your safe place. We trust, respect, value and appreciate you as an individual and are grateful for the culture, knowledge, and experience you bring to the MSU community.

You are likely aware of the many human tragedies that have happened around the world in the past months. These tragedies are dominating social media and other news outlets. Stories, speeches, and opinions you are exposed to might have made you feel emotional, scared, and stressed out. OISS wants you to know that we are here for you. We are by your side. We are your safe place if you ever encounter any kind of uncomfortable experience or if you just need someone to talk.

For more information about our office hours and location, visit the OISS website at http://oiss.isp.msu.edu/about/location.htm.

If you are in an unsafe situation, MSU Police is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, even during holidays, by calling 517-355-2221. In case of an emergency, call 911.

If you are feeling under pressure or concerned about your mental health, please contact the MSU Counseling Center (http://counseling.msu.edu/) for help.

Also, the Office for Institutional Equity (http://www.oie.msu.edu/) accepts calls, emails, and walk-in reports regarding any matters related to discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking.

Again, we want to be your home away from home in the U.S. You can always come to us with any questions or concerns. We hope you feel our support and know that we stand with you.

With warmest regards,

James Dorsett
Director, Office for International Students & Scholars