The Office of International Education, once located in the Collins Classroom Center, was often hard to locate, crowded with students, and not effective for presentations.
In order to resolve these issues and break the barriers between international and traditional students, the Office of International Education completed a yearlong application process for new space.
After approval from the Student Government Association, computers were distributed to various locations throughout the Dreyfus University Center for future use and renovations began.
The new space will host international programs, study abroad, Pointers with Passports, and related international events.
International student adviser, Melissa Murray, said, “Aside from informational presentations, workshops and programming, our goal for this space is to get American and international students together; to hang out and get to know each other.”
Renovations to the new international office include new couches, chairs, meeting tables, monitors, a full size map of the world and the addition of two offices.
There are many academic and social challenges with traveling abroad, but “[it] also increases your ability to problem solve, be flexible, understanding, and patient,” said Angela Kessler, senior clinical laboratory science and Spanish major.
It is highly encouraged to learn about the world first-hand by visiting another country, however, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point allows students to learn, grow and be challenged right on campus.
Many international and English as a second language students need to make quick adjustments to new people, locations and cultures here on campus.
“Having an open study/hang out space will help to dissolve a lot of those fears and hopefully promote more solid interaction,” said Elise Beck, senior international studies and French major.
However, international students are not the only ones that will benefit from this space. Jacob Peichuan Ji, senior graphic design major said, “Many American students don’t know anyone or anything from outside of the US.”
Knowing the stories of international students can be a great way to break cultural boundaries, and learn about other parts of the world. In fact, international students want to be asked questions about their country, life, travel and culture.
International Club makes this possible by featuring and learning about one culture each month. International Club is not just for international students, but for traditional students and community members as well.
Junior psychology major and President of International Club, Michelle Wilde, said, “The whole point is that you are there and engaged to show that you are supporting this [international] community.”
Other ways to get involved include studying abroad, joining Pointers with Passports, participating in the international friendship program, or visiting the new international office to make friends.