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Apr 21, 2016 06:34 AM EDT

UI Struggles to Help International Students Live 'The American Way'

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Webroomz Online Campus Housing Management
KENNESAW, GA - AUGUST 16: Adam Casey, 18, an incoming freshman at Kennesaw State University uses the Webroomz.com campus housing application at the school's library August 16, 2002, in Kennesaw, GA. Webroomz.com allows students to choose both their rooms and roommates before arriving on campus. In addition, the new service allows for online account management and the purchase of other campus services which usually involve long lines, including meal services and parking permits. KSU and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are the first two institutions to use the service.
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It is a common thing for international students to have separate orientation when they're welcomed in a university. However, the University of Iowa might do the kick-off together.

The university's BLOC Party which represents students' voice has just proposed integrating the domestic and counterpart student orientations although many officials doubt the idea. In 2007, UI has started recruiting Chinese students; and since then has been struggling to make them assimilate to American culture, specifically, the life in campus.

The plan to help them live 'the American way' was initially presented during the campaign for UI Student Government elections and the proposal is now being considered. According to Lee Seerdorff, board member of International Students and Scholar Services, he is skeptical about the input as reported in Iowa Watch. In fact, he stresses on how impossible it would be to merge two groups into one.

The senior director also concerns about the schedule since most international students are coming to school a week before it starts whilst domestic students are coming for orientation in the summer. This will not be ideal for international students because it would make them arrive in advance of the start.

Currently, the campus has already planned on encouraging foreign students to get involved in OnIowa along with their domestic fellows. It is by far, an ideal place to mix the cultures and create opportunity for them to know one another.

The BLOC Party has found a solution by giving their international peers a tour around the campus. And the tour will be guided by the domestic students. This informal way is an effort to blend different backgrounds together.

The timing complexity has been a problem in the campus since the different arrival schedules make it more difficult to integrate students. Not only that, some of the UI international juniors found a little disadvantage regarding their registration because most of the American students fill up classes ahead of their counterparts. According to these freshmen, they're not well informed on choosing a spot in classes in middle August while the others have already done it weeks before.

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