Friday the 13th was the start of international orientation. For many Americans Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day, but not for the new students. After getting checked in and receiving their schedules, all students went to the main dining area to have breakfast. Approximately 500 new students from over 50 different countries were eating together and building new friendships. I got to meet a lot of new students which I like to do a lot. Many students have different cultures and it is a lot of fun to get to know their culture and share mine. All the students went on a tour of the campus, met their advisor, took placement tests, and listened to a presentation on health insurance, and living and safety in the USA. I helped with the orientation by giving a presentation to the IESL (Intensive English as a Second Language) students and students under 18. I told them about my experience in the Foundation for Success program.
The IESL students took a placement test to determine what level IESL class they would be in, and the academic students got tested on their math, writing and reading skills. On Monday the IESL students took a trip to the Washington State Fair, a 17 day long festival with a lot of fun things to do. The academic students went to Seattle on Tuesday where they visited the Olympic sculpture park, international district (Chinatown), and downtown Seattle. The IESL students will go to Seattle on Thursday where they will do the same activities as the academic students did. The international orientation will finish with an optional overnight camp, C.O.R.E. , which is a lot of fun. Students can choose which activity they’d like to do at the camp. Some of the choices are: archery, horseback riding, paintball or zip line. This camp is a good American experience where students get to know each other and make friends. I went to C.O.R.E. 4 times, the first time I was a new student and met most of my friends there. As a volunteer I helped with all sorts of things, but what I like best of all is meeting and connecting to new students.