Settling in a new place, far from home

Haemi Kim – Staff Writer

Four days before the Week of Welcome, the international students arrived on campus for International Student Orientation, also known as ISO.Retasya_ISO_Everyone

“It was really beneficial that we were able to come together as an international group because it’s not the first culture shock straight up with Americans,” freshmen Anna De Oliveira from Brazil said.

Because most are from overseas, many of the international students come to a new country entirely by themselves. ISO is a way for them to connect with other international students and explore the new culture together.

“You have people of different cultures but similar situations, so that was really fun. I think that, because we were international students, we had the whole family concept down,” De Oliveira said.

Starting with introductions from new and current students, culture shock, documents, finances, and life at Dordt, students were slammed with lots of information. To lighten up the orientation, students were given tours around campus and Sioux Center with activities like the Sioux Center scavenger Hunt. Students were also welcomed by Dordt Professors and had an opportunity to meet them before classes began.

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As for the helpers of ISO, it was also a great opportunity for them to meet new friends as well.

“I felt like I got to know a lot of people that way,” junior Danikka Jackson said. Jackson is a missionary kid from Mexico and, during her freshmen freshman orientation, she wasn’t able to get to know everyone because she was still adjusting to the campus culture. But as a helper for ISO, it was easier to get to know new people.

Most of the ISO helpers were also international students themselves. They were able to help the new students through the different experiences they had to go through themselves.

As for transitioning into WOW, De Oliveira and Jackson agreed that ISO was very helpful for them. However, Jackson also mentioned that she was a little worried about how much the international students had to go through another orientation, one right after the other.

“At the same time, I find it that it could be extra exhausting for the internationals,” said Jackson. “All the others are coming, this is their first thing and they’re fresh, they’re ready for wow but all the internationals are drained from ISO and now they have to keep going.”

This year, there are almost 20 new international students, with over half of them coming from South Korea.

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