Just in time for the students arriving to JMU International Study Center next week, we wanted to share with you a conversation that we had with one of JMU’s LINKers. In case you are not familiar with the LINK Program, it helps international students have a smooth transitional phase when they first arrive on-campus and feel welcomed and connected with the student body throughout their academic journey at JMU.
Question: Hi Caio, please tell us about yourself.
Answer: My name is Caio Jano Brandao Garbim. I am an international student from Brazil, majoring in International Business at JMU.
Q: Can you describe the LINK Program?
A: The LINK Program is an effective way to guide international students that need a little more information on what is to come. Not only that, it is a way to have someone take us by the hand and help us solve any issues. The issues can include: personal problems, academic problems, issues with adapting, or just any other complication that comes with being away from home.
Q: Why do you think it is important to provide international students additional support upon arrival to JMU?
A: It is important to provide help to any student joining a university, especially international students. Anyone going to a university faces many challenges. There are responsibilities and emotions from leaving your home and family to live on your own.
Q: What are some challenges international students face that domestic students do not?
A: The two main differences international students have to face that domestic students do not are the adaptation to the culture and language. It does not matter how different or similar the place you came from is, you have to adapt to the culture and language. Some have more adapting to do than others, but that is why we have some help from our friends as well as LINKers.
Q: What advice would you give an international student to prepare for coming to the USA?
A: The advice I would give to someone coming to the USA for their studies would be to just be confident. You can do it, no doubt about it. You should also be open-minded when it comes to learning. Don’t forget to live too. Experience the most that you can from this opportunity.
Q: How do you help international students settle down once they arrive to JMU?
A: I would say a good first step would be to find some common ground with your classmates. Similarities are always present and help us in so many ways. When you have common ground with someone, everything is easier.
Q: What tips would you give an international student for a successful academic and social life at JMU?
A: JMU is a very fun place. There is much to do and a lot of people to get to know. Clubs, activities, fraternities and events are always available. You will find things you like and people to be friends with, even academically. People at JMU are very nice and helpful if you need a hand with your studies.
Q: What advice would you give to international students who are concerned about taking classes in English?
A: You have the opportunity to learn English the best way possible. No doubt, being able to learn English in an English speaking country with a great amount of contact with domestic people is the most effective method for improving your language skills. Try and make the most of it. Beyond reading your books and doing your homework, go out and make some friends. Welcome to JMU!
Excited to meet Caio in real life? Those of you arriving next week will have a chance to meet Caio and other LINKers at the airport and on campus. We look forward to welcoming all of you at JMU!
Make sure you have all pre-arrival information before you leave for the USA.