In an effort to provide new undergraduate international students with support as they discover the challenges associated with transitioning to MSU, the Extended Academic Orientation Program was created. The first Extended AOP program was completed fall semester 2014, with a 94 percent participation rate.
The primary goal of Extended AOP is to continue to support and guide our international students during their first semester by providing them with opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, diverse students, resources, and services as well as increase their interest in campus events that align with various student success initiatives.
“We experienced extraordinary success with the first Extended AOP,” Mary Beth Heeder, director of the MSU Orientation Office, said. “Feedback from students and our university partners has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Heeder followed up with many of the Extended AOP participants personally and learned from them that Extended AOP has helped them successfully transition to MSU as well as provided them with opportunities to connect with faculty, staff and other students that they may not have found otherwise.
Following are just a few of the quotes from students who participated in Extended AOP:
“Extended AOP is a great method to let people know not only about America, but also American culture. I believe most freshmen, including international students, do not know a lot about college life, perhaps even American culture. Extended AOP helps them to know better about how to be a college student in Michigan, or how to survive in an English speaking country. Personally, I liked the Extended AOP and one of my favorite activities was the global festival because I was able to see a lot of great performances. After Extended AOP, I know more about our school and it has made my life at MSU easier. I liked Extended AOP.”
“During Extended AOP, the most difficult part for me was talking to people that I do not know in English. At the beginning, I was afraid that my English was not good so that others would not understand what I meant. All of the people I have talked to have been very friendly to me. The talking I did with new people during Extended AOP has helped me practice my oral English a lot and I got the chance to meet more people.”
“Extended AOP gave me the chance to attend a Quality Resume Writing Workshop. I now have a much better knowledge of what a resume is and how to write one. This will be a big help to me in my career.”
“At the global festival event I met students from all around the world. Many of them have a mother language other than English, but they still speak English confidently, which really encourages me a lot. During this program, I also got to see international students showing their countries to other students. It was very exciting and really broadened my view.”