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MTSU’s International Student Ambassadors help stud...

MTSU’s International Student Ambassadors help students from abroad adjust to campus life

A new program will help acclimate and provide practical advice for international students at MTSU.

Dr. Robert Summers, vice provost for international affairs

Dr. Robert Summers

The Office of International Affairs is recruiting international students who already have experience with the campus lifestyle and American society to serve as guides for newcomers from other nations.

“The goal of this program is to promote the comprehensive internationalization of campus, help incoming international students adjust to life at an American university, highlight the diversity of our student population, and promote MTSU as an ideal university for international students,” said Robert Summers, MTSU’s vice provost for international affairs.

Ambassadors also will share their experiences with other students through blog posts. Nakanya Rodruepid, a senior aerospace major from Chiang Mai, Thailand, is the author of the first post, which is available at the international affairs webpage at www.mtsu.edu/intered and the Student Voice webpage at https://bit.ly/2R8q1OP.

“I remember the day that I landed in Nashville, and I had a volunteer pick me up from the airport,” Rodruepid wrote. “It was such a heartwarming feeling. This kind of welcoming had continued throughout my four years of college at MTSU.”

International Affairs logoRodruepid, whose nickname is “Matoom,” wrote that joining Alpha Eta Rho, an aerospace fraternity, and the s tudent chapter of Women in Aviation International helped her broaden her range of contacts and attend different events. It has been beneficial for her academic life as well.

“The lab instructors are very involved with their students, helping me to gain confidence in flying, while promoting safety in the aviation program,” Rodruepid wrote. “In addition, faculty involvement increases my professional network, and this will become helpful in my future career.”

Nakanya Rodruepid, an MTSU senior from Chiang Mai, Thailand, who’s majoring in aerospace, sits on the wing of a small airplane. Roduepid is an MTSU international student ambassador, one of several students from other countries who volunteer to help new international students become adjusted to their new surroundings. (Photo submitted)

Nakanya Rodruepid, an MTSU senior from Chiang Mai, Thailand, who’s majoring in aerospace, sits on the wing of a small airplane. Rodruepid is an MTSU international student ambassador, one of several students from other countries who volunteer to help new international students become adjusted to their new surroundings. (Photo submitted)

Rodruepid, who plans to graduate this December, also recommends a free international student dinner that is served each Tuesday within walking distance of campus.

Nawaf Alogaily, a December 2019 MTSU alumnus from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, continues to serve his alma mater as an international student ambassador. (MTSU/Grad Images photo)

Nawaf Alogaily

Alumnus Nawaf Alogaily, another international ambassador, wrote in his blog post that joining MTSU’s Muslim Students Association was important for him.

“I also used to meet people around campus — at Starbucks, the library, the student union, and classes as well,” Alogaily wrote.

Alogaily, a native of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who graduated in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in aviation management, wrote that members of the international staff still check up on him to this day.

“Being an international student is difficult at first because you will be in a different country all by yourself not knowing anyone, but with the help and support of the international office, friends, and professors, you will get through it,” wrote Alogaily.

For more information about the International Student Ambassadors program at MTSU, contact the Office of International Affairs at 615-898-2116 or international@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


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