For the first time ever, the Fall 2012 semester should see over 500 international students enrolled at the College of William & Mary. Of the expected 506 international students, 247 are new students including 83 freshmen, 29 undergraduate exchange students, two members of the St Andrews Joint Degree Programme, four law exchange students, and 129 degree seeking graduate students.
“It’s truly exciting to witness the growing global interest in attending the College of William & Mary,” said Stephen E. Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies. “International students contribute in myriad ways to our research, teaching, and engagement with countries around the world. All of us at Reves are simply thrilled to welcome them to campus.”
The top countries represented by this year’s international student population include China, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Germany, Austria, Thailand, Pakistan and Nigeria. Students from Canada, Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, France, and Iran, among other countries, will also be on campus.
“Over the summer we have been busy preparing an orientation program for our international students, as well as engaging in professional development initiatives that will help us serve our community better,” said Steve Sechrist, director of the Office of International Students, Scholars, and Programs at the Reves Center.
“In line with trends across the United States, we have witnessed significant growth in our Chinese student population particularly. In July we worked with the William & Mary Confucius Institute to receive training in Pinyin, the official Roman alphabet transliteration system for Chinese language, so that we can more accurately pronounce our Chinese students’ and scholars’ names.”
As it has done in previous years, the Office of International Students, Scholars, and Programs will offer a short series of workshops for W&M faculty on strategies for teaching and working with students for whom English is a foreign language. An enhanced International Student Success Series, a program of workshops and events on topics essential to students’ academic, social and professional success, will also run throughout the fall semester. An International Student Working Group has been formed which includes W&M staff and faculty who will look at issues concerning international students at the College.
“Welcoming our international students to campus is the best part of my year,” said Emily Hogge, international students, scholars, and programs services associate at the Reves Center. “Helping them get settled in and started on a successful path makes all of the work worth it!”