Students Nominated to Study Abroad
The results are in! After much anticipation and hard work, the International Programs Center has announced its nominations for students to study abroad in the Fall 2010 or the full year 2010-11. These students have attended an all-day orientation and several other information sessions in preparation for their departure in the fall.
For the names of all students studying abroad next semester and next year, see the Nomination List.
International Student Academic Achievement Awards
Every semester, the International Programs Center likes to acknowledge the excellent achievements of our international degree-seeking students who have maintained their grades and have a previous semester GPA of 3.5 and higher. On February 11, Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost of International Programs, Pamela Harrod, Director of International Admissions, Michael Elliott, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, and Norma Velazquez, Assistant Director of International Student & Scholar Services hosted a reception in order to congratulate these students for their hard work and present each of them with an achievement award.
IPC would like to congratulate all those who earned a certificate and we wish everyone the same success for the future. Click here for the complete list of students who achieved a 3.5 or higher GPA last semester.
Welcome to New International Students!
The International Programs Center welcomed all new international degree-seeking and exchange students the week of January 12, 2010. IPC provided orientation sessions for all students, containing practical and legal information, as well as some social events, before classes began on January 19. You can find a complete list of all new international students here.
International students meeting new friends during arrival and orientation week
Chancellor's Reception for International Students by Amanda Headley
On November 8, Chancellor Brady and her husband, Steve Heyer, extended a special invitation for a small group of UNCG international students to attend a warm reception at their residence at Bryan House with the hope of meeting the faces behind all the countries represented at the university. I was very humbled by their personalized invitation and immediately confirmed my attendance since I looked forward to conversing with the Chancellor face-to-face in a relaxed, inviting atmosphere.
On that clear Sunday afternoon, approximately fifty international students had the unique opportunity to share their family, culture, and experiences with the Chancellor, and vice versa. Both the Chancellor and her husband greeted each of us individually and there was an exchange of personal stories, educational endeavors, fears, hopes, laughs, and even embarrassing moments. Throughout the afternoon one could see students admiring the stunning art work that adorns the residence, enjoying the lovely view from the verandah, sampling the delectable array of hors d’oeuvres, and making friends with fellow international students.
International students with Chancellor Brady and Steve Heyer
Initially I spoke with the Chancellor’s husband who, upon discovering that I was from Trinidad and Tobago, began to detail some of the beautiful islands that he had visited in the Caribbean. I sought to explain the most profound cultural differences between life in the United States and that on a small island, and then he told me about his childhood in Germany and the hardships he faced upon arriving in America, specifically the death of his mother and his pursuit of a college education.
Soon, Chancellor Brady joined the conversation and I thanked her for her hospitality and for taking the time to meet with us in such a personal manner. She asked me about my experiences thus far at UNCG and I mainly talked about some really impactful, brilliant professors and the variety of engaging and thought-provoking classes that I had taken within the Honors College. Also, I mentioned my plans to study abroad in France during the Spring semester of 2010 and she gave me some tips about staying warm in the winter.
This was an unforgettable evening and I applaud this initiative that Chancellor Brady took in order to engage and really connect with representatives of the international student community. It was truly an honor to finally meet our Chancellor and it is my hope that this endeavor would become an annual event.
Since her induction to UNCG, Chancellor Linda Brady has been a champion for university athletics. UNCG has seen the fruit of her efforts with the construction of a new floor at the Greensboro Coliseum for the Spartan basketball team, and the appointment of a new Director of Athletics, Kim Record. With Chancellor Brady’s encouragement, Kim has spearheaded the move to the Coliseum and is working to further elevate the athletics program through a commitment to excellence and community service.
There are over 250 student athletes at UNCG. Among those, there are 18 international students this year, who are expected to meet the same standards of excellence as domestic students in the classroom and on the field. While their schedules are busy and strenuous, many of the international student athletes find that the camaraderie of being on a sports team has helped them to adjust to life in the United States.
I recently visited a University Studies class to talk to the first year international students and more specifically, the student athletes. These five athletes shared their perceptions about the university and being on an athletic team in the US. I spoke with four tennis players: Alexandra Skripkina from the Ukraine, Timion Meijs from the Netherlands, Annette Rios from El Salvador, Alexandra Whitehead from Australia, and one runner, Mike Koech from Kenya.
International student athletes in their UNS class
The students started off talking about the informality of classes, as well as the large work load. They all agreed that they need to put in a lot of time for school work, much more than they originally thought. They also like the general education system, which is not found in every country. They like that they are able to take a broader spectrum of classes, giving them a wide range of knowledge in different subjects.
The athletes then went on to discuss their athletic experience at UNCG. All agreed that it was extremely helpful to be on a team when first coming to the US because it gave them an automatic friend base that they could go to for help. They continue to turn to their teammates for socializing and support.
Athletes come here for many reasons. Sasha used her skills in tennis to come here for an American education. Mike came here so he could combine his running talent with his academic studies. In fact, in a meet in Louisville, Kentucky in November, Mike broke a long-standing record at UNCG for running the 10K.
All the athletes agreed that the training is advanced at UNCG and very professional. They receive constant support from their coaches, who check up on them and ask about how their classes are going. The athletic department has very high expectations for the training, performance, and academics of their student athletes. They practice hard every day to increase their performance levels. Timion said that while he cannot always reach their expectations, he challenges himself to be the best he can be, and for him, that is enough to make him successful.
The International Programs Center is proud of our international student athletes and we wish them good luck and success in all aspects of their lives here at UNCG and beyond.
Students Nominated to Study Abroad
On October 24, students participating on a UNCG study abroad program attended an all-day pre-departure orientation. Throughout the day, students received helpful information on the logistical, technical, academic, and financial aspects of studying abroad. IPC staff also addressed issues of culture shock through a simulation card game, BARNGA. This game showed students how different people react to being in a new place with different rules than their own and how to cope with these issues.
For the names of all students studying abroad next semester, see the Nomination List.
International Student Achievement Awards
Every semester we like to acknowledge the excellent achievements of our international degree-seeking students who have maintained their grades and have a previous semester GPA of 3.5 and higher. On September 24, Pamela Harrod, Director of International Admissions, Michael Elliott, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Norma Velazquez, Assistant Director of International Student & Scholar Services and Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost of International Programs, hosted a congratulatory reception for these students and presented them each with an achievement award. IPC would like to congratulate all those who earned a certificate and we wish them the same success for the future. Click here for the complete list of students.
Dr. Penelope Pynes, Michael Elliott, and Pamela Harrod hand Ya-Ting Shang a certificate
Dr. Penelope Pynes and Pamela Harrod congratulate Dickson Wambua
Welcome to New International Students!
The International Programs Center welcomed the largest group of new incoming students this fall. After many months of preparation, it was rewarding to see all the smiling faces of students anxious to begin their time at UNCG. The students spent August 17-23 settling in and attending orientation at UNCG before starting classes on Monday, August 24. To see where all these new students have come from, click here.
Denise Bellamy and Ajaya Francis warmly greet new exchange students
Good luck for the coming semester from everyone at the International Programs Center!