Posted May 2, 2011 Atlanta, GA
Any student who has ever landed on foreign soil for an extended period of time knows the overwhelming feelings of disorientation and confusion upon arrival. The Office of International Education (OIE) is looking for Tech students who have studied abroad to serve as ambassadors to those arriving to study at the Institute from other countries.
OIE’s Land@GT program will match up Tech students with exchange students arriving on campus in the fall, and asks participants to play a role in helping these students feel connected to Tech and the U.S. during their time here. All Tech students who have studied abroad are invited to participate.
“The role of friends in an international student’s experience cannot be undervalued, and the students will be so grateful,” said Sheri Beyer, International Student Advisor for OIE. “Tech students’ ability to chat with the exchange students about American culture and to learn about their cultures will offer them a rich experience outside their coursework and lectures.”
Tech student Brooke McDaniel felt the benefit of assistance from local students when she studied for a semester in China. About 30 Tianjin University students hosted and took classes with their American visitors.
“Having them around was incredibly helpful,” McDaniel said. “I was met at the airport by one of the students to help find my way. Once we got to the University, they helped us find things to do in the city, learn to communicate with taxi drivers, purchase train tickets and get cell phones.” McDaniel still keeps in touch with one student who was particularly helpful during the experience.
Land@GT participants are asked to greet their assigned students at the airport or soon after their arrival, help them get settled, attend a welcome reception for all exchange students and coordinate a few other activities throughout the semester. OIE provides Tech students with their exchange counterpart’s name, and from there asks Tech students to introduce themselves and use OIE as a resource for questions along the way. Interested students should apply online for Land@GT by Wednesday, June 1