The Centre for International Programs & Services (CIPS) and Diversity and Inclusion Council at Suffolk University held a meeting on February 19, 2021, to discuss how it will accommodate international students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dina Singh, a Diversity Peer Educator at Suffolk, said that the purpose of the council was to create organisations and clubs, a space to learn and discuss and to promote diversity and inclusion on the campus.
Gregory Jabaut, Director for the Center for International Programs & Services at Suffolk described what the program is doing to ensure that international students are provided with the best experience and support.
Having studied abroad himself, Jabaut expressed how rewarding it can be for students to study abroad. These are life-altering experiences where our notions change and transform, he added.
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While international students are also given access to club and organisations on campus as domestic students, it may be difficult for them to navigate them because of different languages and cultures. Jabaut added that the goal for CIPS is to assist international students in utilizing these resources for support.
At Suffolk, international student services provides personalised support to each student through one-on-one sessions.
He further added that the university is trying to recognise international students as a diverse collection of people who should not be treated as one single group with the same needs.
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To help build relationships, CIPS will be working with international programs such as the INTO program. INTO helps bring more international students to the university and support their university experience.
Although COVID-19 continues to restrict on-campus activities, Suffolk is looking forward to cultivating sources that will focus on mental health.
Counseling Health and Wellness Center at the university now offers services to international students through a student support and counselling app known as My SSP. This app helps every student who is looking for counselling services or access to any wellness programs that are otherwise not available on campus.
The app also offers 24X7 support and confidentiality with well-trained counsellors. No extra cost will be charged to avail of this service.
The panel also looked at students in the USA who wish to study abroad but are unable to do so because of the current travel restrictions or because they are not able to afford it. CIPS is always trying to solve this problem and bring about more options for students.
Stay tuned for the latest news and updates on studying in the US.