Cleveland State University had its largest arrival of international students in Spring 2020, with 227 students arriving from countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. With such an incredible turnout, team members of Cleveland State Global rallied together to provide students with an unforgettable orientation week, hosting advising sessions, lunches with the deans, campus resource fairs, shopping trips, and more activities to help them feel welcome in their new home.
The International Student Experience at Cleveland State
Once orientation wraps up, the Cleveland State Global team provides ongoing support, all year long, to international students through advising, connections, and even special classes.
For example, the Professional Development & Academic Skills course, taught by Cleveland State Global’s academic coordinator, Sarah West,* adjusts its syllabus each week based on students’ feedback and interests. So, one week, West may teach a class focusing on resume prep, while the next week they cover course curriculums to align with student requests. This allows the Global team to check in weekly with each international student not only academically, but also personally, ensuring each student’s experience is as smooth as possible while also providing a high-quality academic experience and access to opportunities.
In Spring 2020, Zaid, a graduate mechanical engineering student from India, arrived on Cleveland State’s campus ready to work toward his career goals and explore the city. With the school’s location near Lake Erie and its small class sizes, Zaid knew Cleveland State was the university for him.
“One thing I loved about Cleveland State Global is they are helping international students in every aspect — course registration, resume building, living, groceries, and a lot more. I had not expected any of this,” Zaid said. “For the same reason, when my relatives or friends back home ask me ‘how different is life there?’ I reply by saying ‘It probably is a lot different, but I didn’t notice because the transition was buttery smooth.’”
If the course curriculum matches the student’s personal or career goals, then transition is the easiest thing, all thanks to Cleveland State Global. One can appreciate it only when one experiences it.”—Zaid, mechanical engineering, India
“I think the biggest advantage for Cleveland State Global students is having a dedicated team to help them adjust to their new lives,” says Lynn Mentch, student services director. “The campus team has expertise in a number of areas — campus services, academic advising, and community engagement, to name a few. And we are all from Northeast Ohio, which is a huge advantage in navigating downtown life and Cleveland winters!”
“Cleveland State Global is making sure I am comfortable,” Zaid said. “It is good to know that I have someone I can call when I am in need without hesitation. Being far away from home, when one can feel like sleeping in the middle of a jungle, Cleveland State Global is that soft cushion.
“Classes are well beyond expectations — they are amazing,” Zaid continued. “I like my professors…they know me by name and are willing to sit with me and discuss my career goals.”
No matter what your goals are, the Cleveland State Global team is here to support you, every step of the way.
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*Sarah West is no longer at CSU Global. All titles were accurate at time of publication.