For incoming international transfer students, the spring semester started early. The New Student Orientation Program was a three-day event, designed to prepare and welcome international students for their upcoming semester at Pittsburg State University. The orientation is held every semester and is required for every new international student. This semester it was held Jan. 15-17.
“I liked the way the advisors and professors took us in, and [told us how] to be successful, and gave us tips on how to behave in the classes, and all the American cultures,” said Sofia Gokkoeva, junior in business. “I think it’s a very important part of orientation on the first days here.”
Gokkoeva said she enjoyed the “spirit” of Pitt State.
“Once a gorilla always a gorilla,” she said. “It really feels like people are really helpful and it’s very open minded here.”
Gokkoeva attended the new international student orientation as a transfer student from Finland.
“I thought it was warm here, and I come from the very north of Europe, and it’s very cold now, so I thought it sounds like it’s going to be nice weather, and I’m really enjoying the weather, it’s very sunny here.,” Gokkoeva said. “I like the courses so much too. I took boxing and ballet, and I’m really looking forward to these courses.”
During the orientation, student leaders and teachers helped the new students prepare for the classes, learn about Pitt State and Pittsburg, and the American culture.
“The orientation day was very intensive like from the very morning to the very night,” Gokkoeva said. “…but it was very good to me, it was a good chance to meet new people, very informative, and I liked that they served us food.”
Student leaders spent two days before the international students arrived preparing for the orientation.
“You get to know a lot of students,” said Ronald Tan, sophomore in graphic design, “…and you get to see how well your leaderships are, and then you can further improve your leadership by doing more stuff like this.”
Tan was a student leader during the orientation.
“Some students, when they come here, and when they feel like someone is helping them, they want to give them back help to them, and then they want to join our team to help the orientation,” Tan said. “I think that’s a good thing for them, because they know how the leaders are helping them, so they want to pay it back and help the leaders. The students will go back as a lead to help the other students.”
For students like Tan, the orientation was an opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills.
“I’m usually the one who organized everything,” Tan said. “Sometimes things didn’t go as I planned, so I’ll have to make some time for me to help the students. Communication is the key as a leader. You really need to communicate with other members, so nobody gets left out. I’m pretty satisfied with my team. I think I lead them well.”