Miami University's international student enrollment could top 1,000 in fall semester 2012, including nearly 400 new students who begin arriving on campus during the first two weeks of August.
Enrollment numbers are not yet official, but David Keitges, Miami’s director of international education, expects the count to surpass last year’s record-breaking enrollment of 980 international students. About 5 percent of Miami’s undergraduate students are from abroad coming from 62 countries. The top 10 countries represented at Miami are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Kenya, France, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan.
Welcoming and orientation activities for new students begin this weekend with a picnic and specialized programs throughout the next two weeks to acclimate them to the university, the region and American culture. The orientation program—the longest offered at any Ohio university--provides airport pickups, numerous information presentations, academic advising sessions, government-required visa processing, banking options, required tuberculosis testing. It also includes tours of the region, campus history lessons, ice-skating and opportunities to meet and interact with Miami’s American students.
In addition some of the international students will participate in the Academic Preparation and Culture Program (APCP). This bridge program created in 2008 includes English 106, Experience in American Language and Culture. This two-week course is designed to introduce students to the American style of higher education. Students exercise their English language proficiency with a wide variety of academic activities including lectures by Miami professors from nine different departments, readings, writing assignments and cultural activities.
Miami also is in the second year of its American Culture and Language (ACE) program, an intensive one-semester long English language program for international students preparing to enter Miami. The ACE program assists students who need to improve their English comprehension and their academic skills prior to entering Miami.
New this year, Miami is offering a special one-credit course, The University and the International Student, tailored to support first-year students when they may be most vulnerable to cultural challenges. The course is co-taught by Miami’s Rinella Learning Center and office of international education staff in a cross-campus effort to help students succeed in their first year.
Christina Carrubba-Whetstine of Miami’s Rinella Learning Center said the focus is to help international students understand the different expectations between the educational systems from their home country and here.
“For instance in many countries meeting with faculty outside the classroom is not a common practice, and sometimes frowned upon. We work with students on how best to communicate with faculty on issues such as course expectations, exam preparation and how to phrase questions appropriately,” said Carrubba-Whetstine.