As I sat on my bed in Karachi, Pakistan, nearly 7000 miles from Dartmouth College, several thoughts rushed through my head. Dartmouth is supposed to be my home for the next four years of my life. There is excitement, but at the same time questions. How will I get to Dartmouth from Boston airport? Who will my first friends be? How will I understand the technical aspects of being an international student on an F-1 student visa (how will that effect my job on campus, my D-Plan, etc)? These and many more questions made me slightly nervous. However, soon an email cleared everything out.
Dartmouth has a very comprehensive International Student Orientation. Over the summer before coming to Dartmouth, each international student is given an upperclassman mentor. My mentor got in touch with me through email and allowed me to ask all the questions that I had. In addition to that, I was told that my mentor and other International Student Mentors (ISMs) will be there to greet me at the airport and then again at the bus station at Dartmouth. This indeed served as the perfect welcome to Dartmouth, and in general, to USA!
In pouring rain the ISMs made sure that my luggage was sent to my room and I had a peaceful night’s sleep after a very long journey. The following morning they made sure that I got my Dartmouth ID card and my room keys and even gave us international students a brief tour of Dartmouth. It was, however, after I returned from my DOC trip (Which was another adventure altogether and deserves a separate post), that International Student Orientation officially began with an awesome BBQ!
The 3 days of International Student Orientation were the perfect start for all of us international students to our lives at Dartmouth. The information sessions covered all the technical details and answered all of our questions. We got several chances to talk to upperclassmen about their experiences at Dartmouth and asked all sorts of questions. We were given the opportunity to have breakfast with professors from various departments and then were able to personally talk to them. We also had several fun activities including an amazing talent show and an awesome dance party. But most of all, I made several amazing friends during International Student Orientation.
As an international student at Dartmouth, you would never feel left out. Dartmouth, as a community, is open to all. Dartmouth’s orientation programs for incoming freshmen provide the perfect start for everybody. As soon as you arrive at Dartmouth, whether you are an international student or not, you are given several resources to make your transition to Dartmouth both easy and enjoyable. In simple words, it is as soon as you arrive at Dartmouth that you fall in love with The Big Green!