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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Mentorship preps students for Aggie lifestyle

Petroleum engineering junior Kristen Kexin Cui, from China, participated in an ISA barbeque picnic.
Petroleum engineering junior Kristen Kexin Cui, from China, participated in an ISA barbeque picnic.

To immerse exchange students in American and Aggie culture, the International Students Association, ISA, plans to expand its mentorship program beyond the summer.
Ankit Patnaik, electrical engineering senior and ISA president, said the mentorship program, which over the summer hosted about 75 students, helps students prepare for what it means to be an Aggie.
“Since most international students do not know anyone upon arriving at A&M, and are not privy to cultural and living situations in the United States, their needs vary greatly from local students,” Patnaik said. “They require affordable housing, but at the same time close to campus because most don’t have a car. They want to be around people from their country or their major.”
A goal of ISA is to incorporate a fulltime program dedicated to helping new incoming students in living, banking and social aspects. Patnaik said ISA has established an efficient strategy to obtain responses from the international community. They have also partnered with reliable banks to ensure students do not face monetary issues.
“We decided to make it our mission to help international students just as we would have loved to be helped when we came to the U.S.,” said Sandra Fomete, chemical engineering senior from Cameroon, Africa.
Fomete said the new mentorship program will incorporate more events with domestic students and build a stronger partnership with programs on campus or in Bryan-College Station that are actively helping international students.
“We are relying on the help of prospective sponsors to assist us in providing basic needs,” Fomete said. “We equally envision making domestic students more involved in our events and activities so that our international students can learn more about American culture and traditions in Aggieland.”
Jiniva Serrano, curriculum and instruction graduate student and ISA member, is also involved in incorporating ISA’s new approach to mentorship.
“It’s a great initiative to ensuring students feel at home in a different city,” Serrano said. “Incoming students who participated in the program did fun activities such as touring campus. They got help with simple things like getting groceries, going to the mall, learning where to take the bus and how to find out bus times and stops.”

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