The first event that kicked off our “Alpha Weeks” (the week before school starts and the first week during which we do lots of events to make new contacts with students) was the Graduate Activities Fair. Many international students come to this since most internationals are grad students. Above, a couple staff members and a Chinese Christian student help set up our contact table.
I volunteered for a few things during the afternoon of Mizzou’s International Student Orientation (getting me this sweet shirt!). I met a cool group of Brazilians who were also volunteering.
The following two days, we helped new students move into their dorms. It’s one of the least fun things about college, so every year we try to make it as painless as possible.
We made sure to take a little time for fun during move-in, though.
One of the most enjoyable events was an international picnic put on by Mizzou, Columbia College and MACC, where Elisa works as an international advisor. It was fun that Elisa and I both were at the same event for our different jobs. Above, Elisa spoke with two German students.
One night during the week before classes, I organized a trip downtown to get ice cream. We gathered at the famous Mizzou columns, since that’s one of the only places students who had been in the US for less than a week would be able to find. The students above are from Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey. Diversity!
We went to two ice cream parlors. This one, Sparky’s, is my favorite because they have lots of interesting homemade flavors, like Dr. Pepper or the Harry Potter-inspired Butter Beer.
Another way we make new contacts with students is by giving away popsicles. I had to explain to most international students what popsicles are. My best explanation? “Frozen juice that you chew.”
Our next big event was our BBQ/Volleyball Tournament. A few Chinese students above, who had played Ultimate Frisbee with me earlier that week, enjoyed it quite a bit.
We had 30-some-odd teams play in the volleyball tournament. 3-400 hundred students came and for the first time ever we ran out of food. It was crazy and fantastic!
Check out the next post, “Alpha Weeks (Part 2),” for more fun photos from the beginning of the school year!