2017 Year in Review
By: OISS Advisor Joy Shantz
As my calendar comes to an end, I like to look back on the year and remember the highlights. New friends I made, funny situations I found myself in, and lessons I learned — December is a great time to think of these things and to imagine what the New Year will bring.
So in that spirit, I want to share some highlights of 2017 for OISS. Please comment below some highlights from your year, and share photos or memories from OISS activities with us!
Coffee Hour is always a highlight of ours at OISS. This fall, Coffee Hour came back to the International Center, which was exciting for all of us! It felt like Coffee Hour had come back home. With different hosts, activities and even some Coffee Hour swag to give away, it was something to look forward to every Friday. If you haven’t attended one yet, make sure Coffee Hour is on your schedule for spring 2018!
OISS is excited to offer opportunities for international and domestic students alike to see more of Michigan and the Midwest. This summer OISS took more than 100 students to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan to explore the lakeside and eat delicious fudge. This fall Cedar Point amusement park was the destination, where even the rain couldn’t stop the fun of riding roller coasters and visiting haunted houses.
We will have more field trips coming up this spring and summer, so follow OISS on Facebook to learn how to buy tickets and join us!
Learning Abroad Conference
The Learning Abroad Conference gave students an opportunity to share their experiences studying in the U.S. and abroad. Co-planned by OISS and the Office for Education Abroad, students practiced presentation development and public speaking.
International Essay Contest
Over 100 international and domestic students submitted essays to the contest to share their experiences of Overcoming Challenges: Learning Abroad in a Time of Global Change. Contest winners were recognized at the Essay Contest Reception and 1st prize winners read their essays aloud. Read the International Student 1st Prize winner Josue Daniel Nataren Moran’s essay.
OISS wants to help students across a variety of needs – from health issues to personal development, cultural adjustment and immigration advising. We were able to work with partners across campus and in the community to provide events that addressed these different areas.
International Student and Scholar Support Program: This fall, MSU partnered with Morneau Shepell to provide 24/7 support for international students, scholars, faculty and staff. The program launch has been very successful and is providing support for many people in our international community. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, do it today! Search for My SSP in your app store. Or check out the ISSP website. Type in Michigan State University and select Faculty and Staff, Student, or Scholar. Learn more about ISSP at MSU.
Vaccine Halloween: OISS advisors brought nurses to campus to provide free or low-cost vaccines to international students, scholars and their families. Ingham County Health Department (ICHD), MSU Student Health Services (Olin), and the MSU College of Nursing worked with OISS to make this event fun and educational, as well as effective, delivering hundreds of vaccines in one afternoon!
Student Leadership: We at OISS want to encourage international students to develop their leadership skills while they study. Two ways we do that are the Global Spartan Leadership Program and the International Student Association (ISA) Leadership Retreat.
In the Global Spartan Leadership Program (which is just in its second year), participants build leadership skills through weekly seminars and a spring break service learning trip. The program was featured in MSU Today: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/global-spartan-leadership-program-prepares-students/
The ISA Leadership Retreat provides nationality club leaders the opportunity to connect and learn from guest speakers about issues facing students today. This retreat was held in October, thanks to support from ASMSU.
Career Development: One way we help support international students’ career development is through the International Student Resource and Career Fair, where companies specifically interested in international student interns and employees can meet with students. This year the event was held in early November, and made possible through co-planning with the MSU Career Services Network, Broad China Business Society, and Project Explore.
Another important part of each year for OISS is supporting cultural sharing events, like the Global Festival. The Global Festival is a large event with close to 3,000 attendees from across the campus and community, where attendees can learn about dozens of cultures and watch hours of live performances by students and scholars from around the world. Beyond Global Festival, international student clubs put on culture nights and performances throughout the year. Following OISS on social media is a great way to see what events are coming up on our calendar next year!
In all, 2017 has been a great year for OISS. We are so thankful for all the offices across campus and organizations in the community who work with us to put on these programs, and to all the international students, scholars and families who share their culture, talents and time with us. We couldn’t do it without your help!