As the spring term of 2019 kicks off, many students are back at the place they consider a home away from home. Illinois Tech is a familiar place for thousands of people; however, it is important to remember that not every student you sit next to this semester has been here before. In fact, many students haven’t even studied in the United States before. Two things that our university prides itself in are its transfer and international students. These students come from a myriad of educational and cultural backgrounds, adding to the diverse and interesting life that those at Illinois Tech embrace every day. While one may think that the nerves that surround transferring schools become easier to deal with as you age, many students have a difficult time and feel out of place when beginning their college education somewhere new, especially in the middle of the academic year. Extending friendship to these students or offering help is a wonderful way to make some of these nerves go away.
About 45 percent of Illinois Tech’s student body is made up of international students. Many times, they are not only interacting and learning with new people in a new place, but they are having to do so while speaking another language and living in a completely different culture. Non-international transfer students also are adjusting to a life at a university where they might not know many people or how to get around. Simply asking someone who looks lost where they are trying to get to or showing someone how to connect to the school’s Wi-Fi can make a difference and open a line of communication for someone who may struggle to do so.
The introduction of new students to our university is always exciting and we are lucky to have brilliant students from so many backgrounds join us every year. Transfer students enrich our campus life, as friendships form and allow those who are new to integrate into the student life at Illinois Tech. I hope that each new student who has come to our campus feels welcomed and that the experiences you have here will be all that you anticipated and more. I hope you find your place here, even if it takes you longer to feel comfortable than you thought it would. From all of us at TechNews, welcome to Illinois Tech and we wish you all the best.