Excitement and anticipation filled the large hall, as students walked in to attend the 2019-2020 orientation at Virginia International University (VIU). On Thursday, August 22, 2019, faculty, staff and key employees welcomed the students to VIU.
The event began with welcoming remarks by Inga Milosavljevic, Student Life Coordinator. She wished the students a successful and fruitful experience at VIU. Next, students introduced themselves. The diversity of students was apparent in the range of countries they represented. Some came from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Madagascar in Africa. Others came from Mongolia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Pakistan, India, Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Venezuela. Most students were enrolled in graduate studies. Their academic interests ranged from business administration to computer information systems, and public and international affairs. Reasons for joining the English language program varied; some wanted to be able to fulfil the English language proficiency requirements for admissions at VIU, others wanted to use it as a stepping stone to further their education, while another group wanted to improve their job marketability.
Students played a game of jeopardy coordinated by two senior student staff, Abimbola and Lucy. Following the game, Dr. Kevin Martin, Academic Affairs, welcomed the students and briefed them on important student matters. Then, Ms. Elizabeth St. George, Quality Assurance, gave an overview of Title IX. On the other hand, Ms. Robyn Taylor, Career Services, gave the students useful tips on job applications and job fairs. Nivedita Thiruchuri related to the students; she told them of her positive experience as a student at VIU and as a current employee at the Alumni Association.
International students need to follow certain rules and regulations that will impact their visas or residence in the US. The International Student Affairs staff explained some important guidelines and regulations and encouraged the students to seek information and help as soon as possible. The students were also encouraged to join existing clubs or start new ones.
Finally, after lunch at the Global Bistro in the university’s campus, students had a tour of the building, where they met key staff and employees. Before leaving, they met with their respective department heads, who welcomed them again to VIU and briefed them on the department programs and concentrations.