Meredith’s Office of International Programs (OIP) is thrilled to celebrate international student enrollment starting to bounce back after the hits it took during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, about 40 students—graduate and undergraduate—from 24 different countries make up Meredith’s F-1 student visa program. Our F-1 community is a resilient group of students who have navigated (and continue to navigate) complex federal immigration requirements on top of the stress of navigating college life, all while far from the support and comfort of home, and possibly doing so in a second (or third! or fourth!) language.
Also of note is that Meredith’s global community consists of more than F-1 students alone. OIP is here to support any Meredith student from an international background as they navigate cultural, social, logistical, and/or linguistic opportunities and challenges here. We in OIP continue to be inspired by all our global students who so clearly exemplify Going Strong daily.
We also continue to be so grateful for you, our campus partners, who truly make Meredith feel like home for so many. As you continue to support Meredith’s global students, we wanted to share a number of opportunities and resources for you to keep in mind and refer students to in the future when they may be of interest:
OIP organizes a two-day pre-orientation program for new international students, designed to set them up for success in navigating the wider campus orientation programs. International Pre-Orientation focuses on topics unique to international student experiences, such as opening bank accounts, cultural transitions, local transportation, and more, all while starting to build a sense of community at Meredith.
International Pre-Orientation is largely facilitated by a group of returning international students who serve as ambassadors. International Ambassadors connect with new international students through email and Zoom sessions over the summer, meet new students in person at International Pre-Orientation, and then continue to serve as leaders throughout the year by informing OIP’s programming to make sure it reflects the needs international students themselves identify. International Ambassadors also continue to serve in a peer mentorship capacity throughout the year. If you know of a global student who could benefit from the mentorship of an older global student, feel free to reach out to OIP or email email@example.com.
FYE – Welcome to Raleigh section
Because we know that new international students aren’t the only students navigating cultural and logistical transitions when coming to Meredith, OIP facilitates a special section of the First Year Experience course for new international and out-of-state students called Welcome to Raleigh. This FYE section covers the traditional student success content while also including information about navigating life in Raleigh and building community with other students who are likely to be around on the weekends. Additionally, OIP makes sure to provide resources and opportunities for these FYE students around school breaks.
Meredith International Association (MIA)
Another resource for global student connection is MIA. This student organization focuses on celebrating and amplifying the diverse cultures represented at Meredith. As such, MIA is a great opportunity for students to be able to discuss important parts of their identities that they may not often be able to share, as well as a chance to connect with other students on campus who share an interest in global learning, connection, and inclusion. MIA is hard at work this semester to bring their events back in person, including monthly Coffee Houses (the next one will be October 26 at 5 p.m.) and a fan favorite, the UN Dinner, coming up on November 16. Stay up to date with MIA by following them on Instagram at @meredith_international_assoc.
International Student Advisor
Finally, a resource for any and all global students at Meredith is OIP’s International Student Advisor, Jennifer Glass. Jennifer is here to develop resources and programs to support F-1 students as they navigate their extra layers of stress. This support may be anything from offering trips to the Social Security Office to advising on F-1 enrollment requirements to facilitating workshops on applying for work authorization and navigating conversations with prospective employers about that work authorization. Jennifer also works with the International Student Ambassadors to facilitate community-building programs for all global students and advocate when and where possible for equitable access to opportunities on campus and beyond for our international community.
If you have a question about international student support or would like to refer a student to OIP, please feel free to reach out to Jennifer Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org.