What is an open house?
I have been in the United States for three years but I did not know what an open house was when Beth Isensee, our program coordinator, mentioned it during one of our meetings. So for a quick answer, I went to wikipedia. According to them, an open house is an event held at an institution whereby its doors are open to the general public so as to allow people to become familiar with that institution and to gain information on it.
Why did we have an open house anyway?
Our International Student Ambassadors Program is only three years old; therefore, not everyone at the University of Minnesota knows about it. By inviting some representatives from different departments at the U (we call them our college liaisons), we were hoping to spread the words about our program to a larger University community. During the Open House, we introduced the International Student Ambassadors Program to the college liaisons and gave them the opportunity to interact with our ambassadors. Additionally, we discussed what collaborations we could do together, what resources from their departments we could highlight in our blogs, and what questions they have regarding the program or our lives here as international students.
I was very excited for this meeting as I was able to meet with the Assistant Dean for Curriculum at the College of Liberal Arts Undergraduate Programs, Nanette Hanks. She asked me what challenges I faced during my first year at the U of M. I told her that I wish I could understand the role of an academic adviser earlier in my college career to help me explore different majors at the University and build a graduation planner. She then mentioned about CLA 1001. It is a class offered by the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) designed specifically for international students. Through this class, international students will hopefully have a better understanding about higher education system in America, including the roles of their academic advisers. Students can also ask questions about time management, how to communicate with their professors, research, internships, etc.
I actually did not know about this class until she mentioned it. I would totally take it if it was offered in the fall of 2007 (that was when I first arrived at the University of Minnesota ^^). I hope we will have more opportunities in the future to meet with our college liaisons next semester so we could inform you different resources you can utilize from your departments.