Berks welcomes largest class of international students

This fall, Penn State Berks will welcome its largest class of international students. Ninety-six new and returning students are expected to attend in the fall 2015 semester, an increase of 25 students from last year?s total of 71 international students. Approximately 30 will be new students.

According to Karen Kihurani, Coordinator of Multicultural Programs, ?The largest area represented by our international students is Asia?including the countries of China, South Korea, and India. This holds true for all Penn State campuses. This year, Penn State Berks will also have international students from Jordon, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Portugal, Ecuador, Malaysia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Trinidad and Tobago, Oman, and Egypt.?

Beginning on Monday, August 17, the college is holding a week-long International Student Orientation for new international students. The orientation program will cover the legal issues that students must deal with for immigration and government rules and regulations. The international students will also meet and connect with their international mentors, as well as college faculty and staff members. They will learn how to get around campus and learn a bit about the history of the area, and will take a trip to Lancaster, complete with the ?Amish experience.? In addition, they will go shopping for bedding and other items for their rooms in the residence halls, and anything else they may need.

The Office of Multicultural Programs holds a variety of programs throughout the semester for international students. After orientation, there will be an International Reunion on Friday, August 28, the first Friday of classes, for the international students to re-connect. During the fall semester, the Office of Multicultural Programs also holds a Unity Day celebration and a Thanksgiving Dinner to introduce international students to a U.S. tradition. They are also planning a trip to visit Washington D.C. later in the year.

Penn State Berks is committed to enhancing the diversity of its campus. One of the college?s strategic initiatives is to recruit, retain, and graduate an increasingly diverse student body that represents all aspects of the communities we serve. This initiative also correlates with one of President Barron?s six imperatives, dealing with diversity. Barron states, ?A diverse campus climate leads to a richer learning environment. Diversity is key to the education of all students, broadening their exposure to people from very different perspectives, walks of life, economic and racial backgrounds, international perspectives, adult and college-age learners alike.?

For more information about Penn State Berks international students or programs, contact Karen Kihurani, Coordinator of Multicultural Programs, at 610-396-6080 or via e-mail at [email protected].