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Most freshmen bring a carload of belongings with them to college.
Abayomi Edwards-Dyer brought a carload of family.
Ten members of Edwards-Dyer’s family — cousins, aunts, a sister, and an uncle — came with her from their home in Trinidad-Tobago to see her off for her inaugural year at SUNY Plattsburgh. It spoke to the closeness of the family.
“It means a lot to me that they took the time off to come and drop me off instead of just sending me by myself,” Edwards-Dyer said. “I appreciate it.”
She said she chose SUNY Plattsburgh “because it’s a new experience away from home, but also because of its diversity.” She looked around Clinton Dining Hall where the new crop of international students for the school year had gathered Aug. 23 for lunch. “As you can see, there is a lot of diversity here. I’m looking forward to it being a great experience.”
Edwards-Dyer is one of nearly 130 new international undergraduate students on campus this fall, one of the largest classes of incoming international freshmen SUNY Plattsburgh has ever had, according to Jackie Vogl, associate vice president for global education. They represent 40 countries, with the largest numbers coming from Vietnam, Japan, India, Ethiopia, China and Canada, and several from the United Kingdom who are here as exchange students.
"Approximately 340 international students — representing 72 countries — are attending SUNY Plattsburgh in fall 2016."
“With these new students, we expect to have approximately 340 international students — representing 72 countries — attending SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall,” Vogl said. The first day of classes is Monday, Aug. 29.
Other visiting students, enrolled as a result of the efforts of the Global Education Office and President John Ettling in collaboration with international organizations in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Department of State come from Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Pakistan and Tunisia.
New international students began arriving on campus Aug. 20 and have been participating in activities and programs such as “Exploring Hopes and Fears About College” to help students address their concerns and develop goals as an incoming international student, “Understanding Social Boundaries and Campus Expectations” with Title IX Coordinator Butterfly Blaise, and “American Culture 101,” where students discussed communication styles, regional differences and interpersonal connections.
Vogl said the students who choose to come here do so for a variety of reasons.
“The cause and effect between the recruitment and advertising that we do is not easily documented. In many cases, we did meet the student as part of a recruitment event in his or her home country, or we meet the student’s brother, sister, cousin, or friend and they share information about SUNY Plattsburgh,” she said. “In other cases, GEO staff members meet their counselors or advisers, but not the students themselves.”
As much time as the Global Education Office spends on direct recruitment, staff members spend even more time developing professional, collaborative relationships with educators all over the world, Vogl said.
“Those relationships often result in enrolled students who have been encouraged by individuals who are influential in their college search to consider seriously enrollment at SUNY Plattsburgh,” she said. “Our alumni and parent networks are also very powerful. Word of mouth continues to be one of our most productive recruitment methods.”
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