As 2017 comes to an end, you are likely putting the finishing touches on plans for the Spring semester, which is just a few short weeks away. Campus events are a great way for your students to stay involved and build more campus loyalty at your institution. While prepping for and promoting campus events is a great way to encourage all students to attend, it is also important to make sure that international students feel just as motivated to attend these events as anyone else. Here are a few ways to make sure you are accommodating your international students in your event planning and promotion this semester.
- Promote campus events in your university’s international center. Many students who are attending your institution from abroad utilize your international center, or equivalent. Create fliers, posters, or calendars for your events and display them in the lobby of this building or wherever students tend to gather. The students who frequent this center will see the event promotion and be more likely to attend as a result. This will also mean a more diverse representation of your student body at the event itself.
- Translate event promotional materials and calendars. If you translate the posters, calendars, and fliers that you post, they may appeal even more to your international students. Reading this information in their first language could help them feel more at home and at ease about attending the event where they might not know anyone yet.
- Gear a few events toward the different cultures within your student body. If you know you have a large student body population from China, for example, you may wish to create an event surrounding their Spring Festival Golden Week (February 17-21, 2018). You may even wish to partner with the international center on an event or two to ensure that other students are aware of this important resource on campus and know they are able to visit for their resources or to volunteer as needed.
- Encourage study abroad and international travel. Your non-international students should also be encouraged to travel and/or study abroad when possible. Share information about study abroad programs at your Spring campus events. Knowing you encourage your students to visit and study in countries outside the United States can certainly be just as positive as welcoming those students from other countries who have chosen to study at your own university.
With the Spring 2018 semester fast approaching, we’d love to know how you handle campus events! If your university has found other ways to successfully welcome and serve your international student base, or if you have seen a particular event show great success, please share in the comments – we’d love to know what works best for you!