September 9, 2019
As the rest of us were squeezing the last bits of summer out of August, the new MPA international students were already hard at work. Ten days before the rest of us walked through the doors of MPA, our new students arrived from four different countries to get settled into their host families’ homes, to get acclimated to their new school, and to have some fun with their new classmates.
While taking math placement exams, discussing plagiarism, and figuring out their locker combos, there was time to build community, too. Several returning international students and domestic MPA students volunteered their time to pile into a 15-passenger van that took everyone off-campus for a bit. Between school supply shopping, bowling, and sharing meals together, the students exchanged stories, answered questions, talked candidly, and shared laughter. By the time the first day of school came around, our new international students felt comfortable with the school and, more importantly, comfortable walking through its doors on day one. Their courage is admirable, and their daily victories, small and large, are awe-inspiring.