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Emory welcomes new international students with events and activities

This fall, Emory’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) — a unit of the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives — welcomed students to Emory from around the world through events that foster new connections and help students feel at home and know where to look when they need help.

Connecting international students with resources

As students from around the world choose to study in the United States, the ISSS office offers a variety of orientation and welcome activities to assist students in settling into their new life in Atlanta. New international students, here on F-1 and J-1 visas, receive a wide range of information about Emory’s support resources, American immigration regulations and navigating life in the U.S.

ISSS staff meet new international students and student leaders at resource fairs and expos across the university, including the Candler Opportunities Fair, the Laney Graduate School Picnic, the School of Medicine Resource Fair, the Emory College of Arts and Sciences Expo and more. Each event allows the ISSS staff to share information about programming and leadership opportunities for both international and domestic students.

ISSS also hosts on-campus Social Security appointment days early in the semester. Since international students aren’t automatically assigned a Social Security number, many of Emory’s international population must apply for one upon their arrival to the U.S., especially if the student intends to work on campus or apply for a driver’s license. During their appointments, students can apply for Social Security numbers with a representative from the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Helping students feel welcome

ISSS’ signature event is its annual international student welcome reception. This year’s reception, held in the Emory Student Center, was attended by members of the new international student class from across the university as well as campus partners. Attendees enjoyed a dinner of various international cuisines and a dessert bar. Students also participated in a range of activities, including a photo booth, party games like giant Jenga and Connect Four and a raffle to win prizes.

Aside from simply having fun, many students see the reception as an opportunity to connect with their classmates and the wider Emory community.

As graduate student Aditya Prakash says, “The International Student Welcome Reception was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my time at Emory. It was a refreshing and heartwarming event, especially for someone like me who arrived on campus from the opposite side of the world.

“The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming, and it played a crucial role in easing the transition into a new environment,” he adds. “Almost immediately, I experienced a sense of belonging, surrounded by fellow students from diverse backgrounds who were also embarking on this exciting journey.”

Photos by Jeni Girtman, Atlanta Event Photography

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