International Student Orientation

Monday, August 28th
9:00 am
August 28–September 2, 2017 The Center for Global Services at the GAIA Centers conducts a comprehensive orientation for new international students every fall and spring semester. This mandatory orientation helps incoming international students adjust to life in the United States and at Rutgers. At orientation, you'll become familiar with their new surroundings and are told about available opportunities and resources on and off campus. You'll also meet other new and returning students, learning from their experiences and making new friends. On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, at 4:45 p.m, we'll host a welcome reception for all incoming international students, where you'll get to mingle with other students, professors, and university leaders. You must RSVP to attend. Highlights covered during the orientation include: Moving into your residence hall for students who live on campus Fulfilling your immigration-related reporting obligations and verifying your travel documents Meeting with your academic advisors Meeting other new students at various social events Learning about academic and social life in the United States Learning about the campus and local community Shopping for basic supplies Obtaining permission to work on-campus and applying for a U.S. social security number Learning about the rights and responsibilities of non-immigrant students

Fall 2017 Study Abroad Fair

Tuesday, September 19th
3:00 pm
You can enter to win a $1,000 study abroad scholarship! We’ve been running study abroad programs since the 1960s, and since then, thousands of students just like you have taken advantage of these life-changing cultural and social learning experiences. Come to our Fall 2017 Study Abroad Fair to find out more about our program offerings and how international exposure can give you a competitive edge in your job hunt. We’ll have food, music, and giveaways—including application fee waivers and scholarships—so be sure to sign up for our raffle before the event. Learn more on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from 3:00 - 6:00 pm at the College Avenue Student Center. ENTER SCHOLARSHIP RAFFLE >


Rutgers Hosts First Pre-Departure Orientation in China for U.S.-Bound Undergraduate Chinese Students

Thursday, June 22nd
Rutgers continues its steadfast hold on its time-tested slogan, “Jersey Roots, Global Reach.” From June 17–19, Rutgers hosted pre-departure orientation sessions in Beijing and Shanghai for 500 incoming and potential undergraduates and their parents from China. The events were held at Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel (Beijing) and the Broadway Mansions Hotel (Shanghai). Though the university regularly offers online pre-departure orientations for its foreign newcomers, the on-location orientation is a “strategic welcome,” according to Anu Gupta, assistant dean for Rutgers’ newly established Office of International Academic Support, because it directly serves a population of students from China, who make up half of Rutgers’ 8,500 international students. “Each fall, we have over 2,000 incoming students from about 120 countries,” Gupta said. “They face unique challenges when coming to study in the United States. There are federal requirements, as well as requirements and preparations specific to Rutgers. Informing our incoming Chinese students about the resources available to them before they arrive – in their own environment, in their own language – helps to alleviate their stress and helps our staff to assist them in acclimating to Rutgers and a new country more efficiently.” Spearheaded by the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers), the pre-departure orientation introduced a new class of Rutgers international students to the academic support services just for them.   “The GAIA Centers offer immigration and visa services for these students. Our new academic support office, which I lead, expands on those services to help our international student population integrate more completely into the classroom by identifying and addressing academic challenges unique to them,” said Gupta.   The event featured representatives from academic and administrative sectors to provide potential and enrolled students from China with an all-encompassing look at day-to-day life in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Karen Stubaus, Rutgers vice president of academic affairs and administration, welcomed students and parents and applauded the university’s commitment to academic success for all students. “I would like to congratulate all of the students here who were accepted to Rutgers University,” said Stubaus.  “We are proud to have one of the most diverse student populations in the country, and we are excited to see each of them on campus in the fall, and we are committed to the academic success of every single student on our campus.”     With the aid of a translator, students and parents heard from other high-level administrators, alumni, faculty and staff regarding academic considerations and resources, as well as guidance on student visa regulations and travel and arrival tips. A panel discussion comprised of current students and members of the Rutgers Chinese Students and Scholars Association (RCSSA) revealed facts and anecdotes about college life and experiences at Rutgers and in the United States; parents attended a separate session to help them address family concerns.    Jeff Wang, Rutgers assistant vice president for international and global affairs, said that Rutgers’ pre-departure orientation sets itself apart from similar events hosted by peer institutions because of its academic focus. “With this event, we’ve taken our academic support resources directly to the students and parents. This event is one of the first steps that we are taking at an institutional level to enhance the academic performance of our international students,” said Wang. Student attendees agreed.  “Before this orientation, I only had fragments of information about my school, dorm life, and where to find food,” an incoming student said. “Now, I’ve been able to piece the puzzle together, and I’m going to Rutgers with a much better idea of the courses I will take and the resources I can use. I was also able to meet a lot of new friends that I’m excited to reconnect with at Rutgers this fall.” The event helped to allay parents’ concerns, too; one parent said that she was now “comfortable and confident about sending my child to Rutgers.” Another reported that the opportunity to participate in the orientation demonstrated Rutgers’ “sincerity and heart and the faculty’s efforts and goodwill.” The pre-departure orientation didn’t just cater to new students. The Rutgers University Foundation sponsored an alumni reception and dinner for recently graduated students living or working in the area, providing an opportunity for new students to hear success stories and to pair up with potential mentors with similar backgrounds. Gupta says that Rutgers plans to expand such pre-departure orientations to other countries because they offer an invaluable opportunity for students and their families to learn more about academic expectations and transition into American college life. Having other Rutgers students and university staff on hand also helps them gain a clearer understanding of important information before traveling to the United States. “We are looking forward to continuing to extend our global reach on campus and beyond to ensure the academic success of all of our international students,” said Gupta.   For more information about international academic support at Rutgers, please contact assistant dean for international academic support, Anu Gupta, at angupta@echo.rutgers.edu.

Fulbright Scholar Grants Help Jumpstart International Education and Research

Wednesday, June 21st
Operating in more than 155 countries, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government to increase international collaboration—and to date, nearly 80 Rutgers faculty have been awarded Fulbright Scholar Program grants to lecture, conduct research, and participate in seminars around the world. The award provides recipients with the opportunity, usually over the course of one academic year, to bridge cross-cultural connections in unfamiliar areas or to jumpstart research that benefits from face-to-face interaction. Robert Snyder, a professor of journalism and American studies at Rutgers–Newark, won a Fulbright award last year to lecture—but not in Europe, where he’s forged many academic relationships. Snyder was selected to teach an American Studies course called “America the Visual: Conflict, Diversity and Democracy in American Culture” at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. “This was a version of a course that I’ve experimented with at Rutgers–Newark,” Snyder said. “It examines visual expression in culture that look at conflicts. We look at how artists, photographers, TV producers, journalists have presented defining conflicts in American culture. Some of the most interesting sessions came from comparing Korean and American attitudes toward shared experiences.” For Snyder, there were reciprocal lessons learned inside and outside of the classroom. “As hard as I work at teaching, I learned more being immersed in another culture and working with international students. I found them to be hard working, very engaged, and interested in the American culture,” Snyder said. “I was humbled by my own ignorance when I went to Korea. Every class, every walk around the block, every trip to the market was a learning experience.” Snyder also said he was open to talking to any faculty considering the opportunity. “I just can’t speak highly enough of the program—I’m happy to help anybody who wants advice on how to apply,” he said. Andrew Baker, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, participated in the Fulbright Scholar Program in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2015 (at the University of Cape Town) and 2016 (at the University of the Western Cape) through a new type of “flex” Fulbright award, which allows scholars to make more than one short visit to a host country. Baker is one of three PIs launching a collaborative international project—called “Looking at the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array (LADUMA)”— using an array of MeerKAT radio telescopes in South Africa to observe the atomic gas in galaxies over nine billion years of cosmic time. He said that Fulbright allowed him to essentially “interact with people in the same room who we are going to be interacting with over an extended period.” The flex trips also gave him a chance to navigate challenges in a new academic climate, like a series of student protests that shut down both of his South African host institutions. “I was also able to learn a lot about the technical issues involved in dealing with data that we will be collecting for LADUMA,” Baker said. His advice for prospective Fulbright scholars? “It’s helpful to have a conversation with a program officer before you apply,” he said. “Consider looking closely at the terms of the flex option—it may be that the particular set of constraints that you have on your schedule are still compatible with a flex Fulbright scholarship.” Greg Costalas, senior program coordinator at the GAIA Centers, provides support as a campus representative and can direct Rutgers faculty to the appropriate program officer at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), which administers the Fulbright Scholar Program. The application deadline for most Fulbright awards is August 1, 2017. U.S. citizenship is required. For more information, visit http://www.cies.org/programs.



We agree with you, Heart! See a tiny fraction of the world on one of our study abroad programs! Learn more at… https://t.co/c79Z4GSdVZ
RT @LynetteSieger: Thank you @devintstewart @carnegiecouncil for a thought provoking afternoon! #RUGAIAUN #EthicsMatter #StudyAbroad https…