Connection for International Students

The Host: Hello everybody and welcome back to our Student Affairs Podcast Series. My name is Daniel Pinto, I am a senior, and I will be your host today. On this episode of our podcast series, we will be talking about connection for students, how to help students find a place where they can feel connected and why it is so important to make connections. Today we are joined by Janice Kim, Interim Director of International Student and Scholar Services. Janice leads UofL’s global efforts to produce international prominence for the university community. We are so happy to have you here, how are you today?

The Host: We should probably start with the most important thing, which is connection for students?

Janice Kim: Connection for students particularly on a college campus is a synergy between the academia and social interactions. So, connection is ways students envelop their integration and application within the institution. And for international students, the construct of connection may differ in many ways in relation to their commitments to the University.

The Host: I like how you said it's a connection academically and socially. I think for many international students it can be difficult to make friends right away. So, moving forward to our next question, is it really important to make connections?

Janice Kim: The importance of making connections for international students and scholars, I would say, is to gage formation in their sense of belonging to the University. So again, this cascades primarily on the rationale behind their commitment to the university. For example, international students may feel more connected on campus because of their academic commitments. And so the impact from faculty interactions is critical for an international student’s educational trajectory and motivation. If they do not feel connected to their faculty, coursework, or even additional training opportunities, international students may rather feel a disconnection in their academic motivation and dynamics.

There are published writings that examines the relationship between student-faculty interactions to international students’ sense of belonging. And the most prominent finding in relation to an international student’s sense of belonging demonstrated that it was intertwined with that of an inclusive academic atmosphere. Contrarily, negative experiences, such as lack of inclusion, challenges in the English language and the insecurity in communication abilities, prevented international students to constructively contribute to the social and academic settings.

Alternatively, enhancing connection for international students may also come from various social organizations on campus.

Some of the major connections imperative to our international community have been identified as:

  • Engagement with the university communities as a whole. Many look for that Interaction between domestic and international peers. But, they also look for opportunities to engage within the international community, meeting other international students and scholars.
  • They also actively search for opportunities towards professional networks within on-campus and off-campus opportunities. Such as Internships and CoOp through a Curricular Practical Training, referred to as CPT a type of work authorization for international students.

The Host: How do you help students make connections here at UofL?

Janice Kim: The office of International Student and Scholar Services champions in facilitating various ways to connect the international community. The first and foremost is to help them acclimate to the campus and in the U.S. The international office starts helping international students and scholars make connections even before they arrive to the U.S. and UofL campus. We help them by providing Visa and travel information, housing arrangements, and we organize the international student orientation to help new students and exchange visitors acclimate to the campus and the U.S. when they arrive.

The International orientation covers a wide spectrum of important information such as immigration regulations, student life, campus and community resources. We also have a great time of food and fellowship.

The International Office is also a prominent figure in mediating further practical training that enhances an international students or scholar’s academic commitment and endeavor. Because of federal regulations that govern international students and scholars, the ISSS office provide several workshops and informational sessions and advising to help advance the connection between academic and professional training.

The International Office also organizes many Meet and Greet events, promotes International Education Week, and many, many other engagements and connection opportunities. This also includes our International Student Council Student Organization.

In all, I would like to invite our campus community to also connect with our international community.

The Host: Thank you Janice we were happy to have you here. Have a great day and We hope that our listeners have identified for themselves the main points and now know how to make connections. For more information about student services, go to

Did you know that There is an Emergency Fund to help UofL students in need? To apply for assistance, go to:

As always, we would like to give a shout out to SEC & ACC Virtual Career Fair for giving such a great opportunity for an internship or a full-time position to our students.

On that note we would like to come to an end. Our listeners, thank you for staying with us till the end. Don’t forget to come back for another episode next week. Have a great day. Take care!


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