Time flies. The 2010-2011 International Student Ambassadors have been with you for almost 4 months, and we all enjoy the time sharing our experience with you. This is the last blog for this semester, and we will be back after winter break.
On November 19, we had ISA's first open house event - we introduced our program to the liaisons of each college and shared our experiences and ideas of how to make the campus more accessible and more diverse to the international students; the liaisons also shared their experiences of working with international students and gave us advice how to make our program better. In the event, I talked to Mike, who works for University English Program. He has a lot of experiences of working with international students and helping them improve English skills both in class and in life. He studied abroad himself in France so he also understood how the language could be a barrier for international students. I also found out that instead of taking TOFEL or IELTS, Minnesota Battery Test (MBT) is an English test that is equivalent to them for English as a second speakers (hope this is help for some prospective international students).
I personally enjoyed and appreciated this event very much. As an international student, I know that only a few people on campus that really know about or care about other cultures, though U of M is a very diverse campus. As an ISA, our job is to help build a better bridge between international students and college faculty, staff or other students. I hope there will be more communication between them and fewer barriers. I think that's also the hope of all of us.