James Madison University welcomed its newest intake of international students on campus for Orientation Week on August 20th. The lively week featured a range of sessions, activities, and insights from campus faculty and current students. These current students, LINKers, helped to ensure that the transition was a smooth one for incoming international students. The LINKers worked tirelessly throughout the week to ensure that the students felt welcome on their new campus.
LeftTeam building activities with the LINKers during Orientation.
The LINK program at JMU aims to connect international students new to campus with other international students who are of a junior or senior level. LINKers are especially beneficial to new students at the International Study Center as they have been in their position before. LINKers possess the ability to empathize with international students as they understand the stress that comes with being a new student in a new place. Trained by the Center for Global Engagement, LINKers have a vast knowledge of the university and campus life.
Team building is better outside!
Serving as both translators and guides, LINKers formed a unique bond with new students during the orientation week. Specifically, LINKers engaged in ice breakers with the students throughout the week. They also hosted three interactive sessions on student life, staying healthy, and the cultural differences between the United States and other countries.
The main goal of the LINK program is to create an environment of inclusivity, while providing students with a lifeline and a friend who can help them in times of need. Whether that need occurs during orientation week or during final exams, the LINKers are there to assist international students throughout the year.
LeftGroup photo with the newly arrived international students and the LINKers.
The aptly named LINKers serve as an active link between the international students and the JMU community at large. These 15 students act as role models and peer advisors to the international community because they’ve walked in their shoes. This year’s LINKers helped to make JMU’s international student orientation a smash success.