Last week, the International Programs office held a reception in Chapman to recognize the newly hired international student and scholar services advisor, Stephanie Herzog, who joined the department in December.
The position of an international student and scholar services advisor is primarily focused on aiding international students in keeping up with immigration paperwork and requirements. Herzog’s hiring comes at a time when the number of international students attending Trinity is increasing.
“The number of international students studying at Trinity has been growing. I’d say in some ways the International Programs are expanding because they need to support the international students,” Herzog said.
The department is also concerned with offering support in other areas where international students may need help.
“We like to check in with our students to make sure that they’re feeling at home here at Trinity. If they’re having any issues we want to make sure we’re there to reach out to them and give them the resources that they need,” Herzog said.
International students face a number of challenges when they arrive at Trinity that extend past the adjustments that all first-year students they must go through. Not only do they deal with adjusting to life as a college student, but they must also deal with issues such as culture shock, homesickness, banking issues due to currency exchanges and language barriers.
Difficulties communicating with family back home due to living in different timezones and not being able to visit home on breaks and holidays are also issues that many domestic students don’t have to think about.
“I know some people that don’t have their country right next door and they get really nostalgic. The first semester is especially hard,” said international student Julian Burgos.
The presence of international students on campus campus gives everyone the opportunity to engage with people from numerous cultural backgrounds. International students bring their distinct worldviews to the dialogue among the Trinity community.
“It benefits us a lot to have students from all over the world. We have students from every continent here.That really enriches and diversifies the community here and in San Antonio. There’s a lot that we can learn from them… it’s a really unique opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and see what life is like for people around the world and share those different types of experience,” Herzog said.
Many of the activities the International Programs office holds aim to bring international and domestic students together.
International students also benefit from all the opportunities that the United States offers. Studying here at Trinity gives international students a foot in the door to seek employment here after graduation.
“If you want to work in the United States, it’s easier if you’ve already studied here so you can just go straight to working here. It’s really hard to get your degree somewhere else and come to the U.S., especially for those wanting into the medical fielto go d,” Burgos said.