Helpful tips for international students

Tomiwa Akintode reflects on her experience becoming involved on campus as an international student.

Tomiwa Akintode reflects on her experience becoming involved on campus as an international student.

In my first semester of my freshman year, I was very new to the campus so I had no idea on how to get involved in school activities. This made me stay home most of the time, missing opportunities that would have helped me if I had some form of idea of what I could do on campus. It wasn’t until my second semester that I began to meet more people and became involved in school activities that have led to so many opportunities I’m enjoying. So, if you’re an international student and you need helpful tips on how to stay involved in school activities, this one is for you.

  1. Professors: Most times, your class professors are in charge of one organization or another so it doesn’t hurt to meet with them, whether during their office hours or after your class sessions to ask them questions. They might just be able to suggest helpful organizations relating with your interests, which might help you out.
  2. International Programs: The Center for International Programs always has some sort of event planned for the semester. The designated student organization ISCO (International Student Cultural Organizations) collaborates with different organizations on campus for some of these events so that international students get to have a well-rounded experience while schooling here in Troy. These events range from a prom-themed dinner to a weekly meeting where different international students share facts and delicacies from their countries!
  3. Social Media: One thing I always say is that you should never underestimate the power of social media. I have personally learnt about different activities I didn’t know existed on campus, all from social media. There are student groups on these applications, where students share events their different organizations are holding on campus, for example, I didn’t know the school had a swing dancing club until I saw a post made by one of their members on Facebook. These and many more organizations can be found through social media. All you have to do is make a quick search using certain keywords relating to the university and you’re good to go!
  4. Major: Most majors on campus already have a designated student organization. I know for me, the School of Journalism and Communication had various organizations, which led to my first chance of getting to know more about my other classmates whom I shared a major with. It was also through these organizations that I was able to gradually move out of my usual circle and make a lot more friends I shared a common interest with.
  5. Your Friends: This one is very obvious because word of mouth is one of the quickest ways to get information. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends what they’re involved in on campus and you might be able to find something that interests you.

One thing I love about the student organizations and clubs at TROY is that they are always welcoming to international students. Regardless of where you come from, they would always treat you like their own, so don’t be afraid to join organizations that might interest you. Like I said earlier, you never know what opportunities are waiting for you when you become a part of them!