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Smooth landings across INTO US centers

Marshall Academic English Students Checking In
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Smooth landings across INTO US centers

Helping international students to get off to the very best start, from the moment they set foot on US soil, is key to their experience at INTO’s study centers.

Helping international students to get off to the very best start, from the moment they set foot on US soil, is key to their experience at INTO’s study centers. And, at the very heart of students’ first and lasting impressions are the Student Services teams, who plan tirelessly for months, alongside others, to ensure that everything – from initial airport ‘meet-and-greets’ to social events and enrolment procedures – runs just like clockwork. Here is a selection of reflections - from INTO employees, students and helpers on the January 2018 orientation weeks at four US centers. Marshalling the troops Thanks to a strong game plan by Student Engagement Coor… Read the full article
Helping international students to get off to the very best start, from the moment they set foot on US soil, is key to their experience at INTO’s study centers.

And, at the very heart of students’ first and lasting impressions are the Student Services teams, who plan tirelessly for months, alongside others, to ensure that everything – from initial airport ‘meet-and-greets’ to social events and enrolment procedures – runs just like clockwork.

Here is a selection of reflections - from INTO employees, students and helpers on the January 2018 orientation weeks at four US centers.

Marshalling the troops

Thanks to a strong game plan by Student Engagement Coordinator Kenny Jones, and the adaptability and enthusiasm of INTO faculty and employees, the new students at INTO Marshall University got off to a great start at the Huntington, West Virginia campus in early 2018.

The January arrivals, which had flown in from countries including China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam and Kuwait, were met at Yeager and Tri-State airports by International Peer Educators - either current or past INTO Marshall students.

"Our International Peer Educators made sure that each student who had asked for a ride to campus was greeted with a smile and supported from the moment they arrived at the airport until they were settled in their residence hall," said Director of Student Experience Jim Clagg.

Bright and early on Wednesday January 3, Academic English students checked in (pictured) - marking the start of three full days that included everything - from campus tours and getting ID cards to finding out about insurance and immigration laws and policies.

But an orientation highlight was, undoubtedly, a welcome greeting by Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert, in which he outlined the University’s core values and introduced them to Marshall mascot, Marco.

"It was wonderful to have our new students meet President Gilbert and Marco," said INTO Marshall Executive Director Stephanie Hurley Collier. "This event recognized students as new members of the Thundering Herd and introduced them to several key Marshall traditions. It is our hope that students left this event feeling welcomed by the university and a part of the Marshall family."

INTO Suffolk – warm welcomes after a cold snap

Arriving at INTO Suffolk University in Boston was a whirlwind for the INTO center’s first-ever intake of students, many of them from warm-weather climates, who arrived in Boston at the tail end of a record-breaking cold spell in the state of Massachusetts.

Orientation for the students – from Thailand, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and more – consisted of four-days of warm welcomes in the shape of activities, information sessions and meet-and-greets.

INTO Suffolk Marketing and Communications Specialist Samantha Gordon went to Boston’s Logan Airport to meet those students who had been delayed because of the weather and direct them to their housing.

Orientation began as soon as everyone was safely ensconced in their accommodation and had had a chance to rest up after their lengthy journeys. “All the students were very interested in our session dedicated to Culture. For many students, the US is very, very different from their native countries in terms of both diversity and the fast-paced lifestyle,” said Samantha.

“By talking about their homes and asking questions about events and transportation in their new city, they took their first steps in making Boston their home. Everyone at our brand new center is really looking forward to helping them throughout their exciting study journey here!” she said.

Orientation ‘Olympics’ bring Drew students closer

The international students who arrived at INTO Drew University this January automatically qualified for the ‘Olympics,’ and worked together throughout Orientation Week to gain points and win prizes.

 On the first night, the students were broken into groups, and tasked with coming up with a country name, and designing a flag and an Olympic torch. Over the following days, they competed in events and games to earn points for their team – or ‘country’. Then, on the last night of orientation week, prizes for the highest-scoring ‘country’ were awarded in a special closing ceremony.

Activities during the week included a scavenger hunt – during which students were challenged to take pictures of themselves in significant locations around campus and the town of Madison. Everyone also enjoyed a trip to a local outlet mall where they could buy anything they may have forgotten - or didn’t realize they needed!

INTO employees and faculty were on hand throughout orientation to help the new students find their feet and their way around. The new arrivals also had a chance to meet domestic students by participating in University orientation activities, as well as University-run international student orientation sessions.

 Schedules and Sundaes at INTO Mason orientation

After being met at Washington Dulles International Airport by the Student Experience team and a group of Orientation Leaders, it was non-stop for the over 100 students who flew in from five continents to study at INTO George Mason University.

A week-long orientation program was organized for the new arrivals, during which they toured the Mason campus, met their academic advisors and received their schedules. But Spring 2018 Orientation was not all about work as it also included of a lot of fun activities like an Ice Cream Sundae Social; a pizza party; a trip to the University Mall and Target to pick out room decorations and supplies; and a scavenger hunt involving a series of challenges around campus.

“It was amazing to welcome our new students to INTO Mason this semester!” said Cassie Larson, Orientation and Engagement Cooridnator. “The INTO Mason team did a great job working together to ensure our students had the best possible week, and I can’t wait to help them get the full student experience of George Mason University throughout their time here.”

You can catch a sense of the new students’ excitement in this video.

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UK centres open doors to international crowd

INTO News reports from four of our UK centres, all of which have been buzzing with activity and excitement over the arrival of students from all over the world this January. Activities and initiatives included ‘Getting to Know You’ games, pizza parties and a ‘welcome app’ designed to help everyone settle in. App welcomes diverse students to INTO City community This January’s intake at INTO City, University of London could hardly have been more diverse – as, in mid-January, the centre opened its doors to a total of 104 new students from around 30 countries. And to keep them up-to-date with activities, events and information sessions as they settled in and found their feet at the centre, the students were able to download the INTO City Induction Week App. “The app was a great way to help students fee… Read the full article
INTO News reports from four of our UK centres, all of which have been buzzing with activity and excitement over the arrival of students from all over the world this January. Activities and initiatives included ‘Getting to Know You’ games, pizza parties and a ‘welcome app’ designed to help everyone settle in.

 App welcomes diverse students to INTO City community

This January’s intake at INTO City, University of London could hardly have been more diverse – as, in mid-January, the centre opened its doors to a total of 104 new students from around 30 countries.

And to keep them up-to-date with activities, events and information sessions as they settled in and found their feet at the centre, the students were able to download the INTO City Induction Week App.

“The app was a great way to help students feel better prepared, create a sense of community before they arrived, and make all of our welcome information available in a single, easily accessible place,” said INTO City Student Services Team Leader Finola Gibson.

Information available on the app included details of a visit to London Zoo, and a trip to City University, London’s Northampton Square campus on a specially-commissioned red London bus. Mengfei Dai from China, who is studying the International Foundation programme in Actuarial Science, said: “I have never seen London on an open-top bus before, this was very exciting for me.”

“It is always a pleasure to welcome a further set of students to INTO City, University of London - as well as welcoming back our current group. We hope that 2018 will see our students achieve all the success they deserve!” said Centre Director Eamon Martin.

Pictures of the bus trip are available on facebook, as are pictures of the London Zoo visit.

 A truly international week at INTO University of Gloucestershire

Welcome week at INTO University of Gloucestershire was a truly international event, with over 10 nationalities arriving on the first day! The students came from South Korea, China, Iran, Tajikistan, France, Kazakhstan and Colombia, to name just a few.

The week started with a welcome talk from the Centre Director and Head of Student Experience. This was followed by a tour of the campus and Cheltenham.  “It was nice to take the students into town and show them what Cheltenham has to offer, and walking with them meant that I could get to know students on a one to one basis,” said Student Experience coordinator Kelvin Whitefoot.

There were also useful presentations about living in the UK, academic study and accommodation, and the Student Union gave a talk about clubs and societies. The week finished with a pizza party in the Park Campus bar, where students relaxed, made new friends and signed up for INTO social activities.

The sky’s the limit for Newcastle University London group

Students starting Pathway courses at Newcastle University London recently arrived in the UK from China, Mongolia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Singapore, Norway and Spain.

During a busy induction week, they enjoyed learning about their campus, preparing for classes, making friends and participating in events. For instance, a lively ice-breaker exercise on Day One was a golden opportunity for everyone to find fun facts out about each other - eg who likes selfies and who loves to wear red! Then, later in the week, the group visited the capital’s highest public garden, 35 storeys up, inside the famous ‘walkie talkie’ building in London’s financial district.

“Everyone in the NUL Student Services team really enjoyed helping the students to settle in, and we are looking forward to supporting them in their studies for the duration of their programmes!” said Student Services Manager, Vikki Hedges.

Latest arrivals extend Exeter’s global reach

The arrival of a student from Turkmenistan has brought the number of nationalities to have studied at INTO the University of Exeter up to 114 since its opening in 2007.

This January a total of 142 students from 25 countries were welcomed at the centre, and 19 more are expected soon. Activities and information sessions across their arrival were plentiful, and included welcome talks; tours of the campus; an introduction to INTO Giving; opportunities to get involved in sports and activities, as well as to take part in volunteering and day trips and ‘Getting to Know You’ games.

“The INTO team have been very approachable and helpful.  I am hoping to try out for the soccer team and maybe join the photography club.  My highlight would definitely be the relationships I’ve made with people from all over the globe,” said Prathamesh Roy, who is from India and has joined the Foundation in Economics, Finance and Management programme.

“I’ve been here at INTO Exeter for about two weeks, and I really love the city and all the people here.  It is such a fantastic thing to study and make friends and connections with people from all around the world,” said Joao Do Amaral Segura Coelho who is from Brazil, and is taking the Foundation in Humanities, Law and Social Science programme.

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Newcastle Arrivals Astronomer

Exhibition fuels INTO London students’ imaginations

That inspiration is all around us, and that art can be appreciated in many settings was a lesson learned by a group of INTO London Foundation Art and Design students during a recent visit to the Basquiat: Boom for Real exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. The exhibition is the first large-scale UK display of more than 100 pieces of work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a self-taught American artist, poet, DJ and musician, who revolutionised the Downtown New York Art scene in the 1980s, and worked with the likes of Keith Haring, Blondie and Andy Warhol. “The Basquiat exhibition taught me that art is meant to be everywhere, from a fridge to street walls!” said art student Luiza from Brazil. “It showed me that art is about freedom and that observing what su… Read the full article
That inspiration is all around us, and that art can be appreciated in many settings was a lesson learned by a group of INTO London Foundation Art and Design students during a recent visit to the Basquiat: Boom for Real exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London.

The exhibition is the first large-scale UK display of more than 100 pieces of work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a self-taught American artist, poet, DJ and musician, who revolutionised the Downtown New York Art scene in the 1980s, and worked with the likes of Keith Haring, Blondie and Andy Warhol.

“The Basquiat exhibition taught me that art is meant to be everywhere, from a fridge to street walls!” said art student Luiza from Brazil. “It showed me that art is about freedom and that observing what surrounds us is the best way to learn and express it.”

“Basquiat comes through as a very young man who wants to learn more, an artist with a huge imagination and curiosity. He is the artist America needs now,” read The Guardian newspaper’s review of the exhibition.

"The visit was a great opportunity to visit both an important and iconic cultural centre - The Barbican - and to see the work of such an original and influential artist,” added Art and Design Teacher Phil Smith. 

INTO London will continue to run such knowledge-filled trips throughout the year for students in order to provide them with the best possible study abroad experience.

The purpose of the Barbican visit was to expose art students to different types of art in order to inspire them and encourage creativity. After all, as Basquiat himself stated: “…And that’s how I learnt about art, by looking at it.”

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INTO London Art Show

INTO Giving: Buzzing about new project

INTO’s education charity has donated £4,560 (US $6,018) to an environmental project that provides schoolchildren in Nigeria with the skills needed to support both their school and their extended families. Up to 10 students per year from the Multilateral Grammar School will be trained as beekeepers through Bees Abroad in Nigeria – one of the latest projects to receive support from INTO Giving. The proceeds from the bees will benefit the school by enabling it to buy extra resources, and will help the newly-trained students by allowing them to take their beekeeping skills out into their community. The INTO Giving funds, raised by INTO employees, students and friends, will help with: The cost of del… Read the full article
INTO’s education charity has donated £4,560 (US $6,018) to an environmental project that provides schoolchildren in Nigeria with the skills needed to support both their school and their extended families.

Up to 10 students per year from the Multilateral Grammar School will be trained as beekeepers through Bees Abroad in Nigeria – one of the latest projects to receive support from INTO Giving. The proceeds from the bees will benefit the school by enabling it to buy extra resources, and will help the newly-trained students by allowing them to take their beekeeping skills out into their community.

The INTO Giving funds, raised by INTO employees, students and friends, will help with:

  • The cost of delivery of beekeeping training, including training the teachers
  • The materials needed for hive construction and personal protection equipment
  • The provision of instructional training materials and manuals
  • The purchasing of apiary-establishment and honey-harvesting equipment

Bee colonies are essential to our existence, but are in sharp decline due to global warming and increased use of pesticides. Bees Abroad uses the power of education to increase the number of bee colonies in the world, while providing poor communities with a sustainable source of income.

Visit INTO Giving for more about the six new INTO Giving supported projects.  

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Bees For Website

INTO volunteering

Everyone who works for INTO now has the chance to take two paid working days to volunteer for non-profits – in addition to their annual leave allowance. INTO’s volunteering scheme enables all INTO employees to help humanitarian and community causes close to their hearts. The skills and expertise employees can offer can be anything – from painting a community centre or serving food at a homeless shelter, to helping refugees with their conversational English or helping people to gain IT skills. For more about volunteering at INTO, please visit this webpage. Read the full article
Everyone who works for INTO now has the chance to take two paid working days to volunteer for non-profits – in addition to their annual leave allowance.

INTO’s volunteering scheme enables all INTO employees to help humanitarian and community causes close to their hearts.

The skills and expertise employees can offer can be anything – from painting a community centre or serving food at a homeless shelter, to helping refugees with their conversational English or helping people to gain IT skills.

For more about volunteering at INTO, please visit this webpage

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Volunteering

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