Hanna, an assistant student operations manager based in Shanghai, ensures international students have a smooth transition from their home country to select Shorelight universities in the US. From offering checklists, arrival assistance, banking, and more, Hanna supports students as they settle into US university life.
Read on to learn more about how Hanna and her team work to ensure international students have a positive pre-arrival experience – and are ready for their studies once they get to campus.
Connecting with Students Around the Globe
“We will start to follow up [with] our students once they get the I-20 issued and visa granted, and we will connect with them,” Hanna explains.
To discuss questions and share important information, Hanna and her team utilize the student’s preferred communication platform to make the process easier. For students in China, WeChat is popular, while students in other countries often opt for WhatsApp. The team also gets in touch with students via Zoom to discuss any concerns they may have face-to-face.
Why is connecting so important? It is because we want to make sure every student is familiar and clear about what they need to do before they arrive to the United States, and before they go to their destination campus. We want to help them to [be] fully prepared and confident about their future studies in their destination universities.”— Hanna, assistant student operation manager, China
Guidance Through the Pre-Arrival Process
Hanna dedicates her time advising students on a variety of pre-arrival steps — housing facilities at their university, vaccination queries, organizing airport pick-up, managing payments, and more. New students also have access to pre-arrival videos, can participate in introductory webinars, and get support with creating a checklist to organize all the necessary details they need to prepare before arriving on campus.
A major part of Hanna’s work also involves coordinating with Shorelight’s enrollment service team to help students apply for their visas. One particular concern students face is preparing for the visa interview, which can seem challenging at first for students who are still improving their English skills.
“Once I let the Enrollment Service Advisor know the students’ concern, [they] will contact the students at once and let the students know when is the mock interview, when is the training, and they will help the students get fully prepared about visa interview,” Hanna said.
Once a student gets their visa, Student Success Coordinators take over.
“We want to help the student have a very smooth transition from their home country to their destination campus,” Hanna added.
Setting up Banking and Phone Services
Hanna and her team also support students with preparing for their new life in the US in advance: Students can receive SIM cards to set up a US mobile phone before they arrive at their destination campus, completing initial registrations and account setup from home. This means they’ll have a registered US phone number before even boarding their flight!
Another feature includes bank account setup. “Students can apply [for] a bank account that is [affiliated] with hundreds of banks in the US,” Hanna said. An e-card will be added to the US phone number issued, which permits you to transfer money to the bank account. Once you arrive in the US and update your address, a physical bank card will be sent to you.
“After [a] student gets the card, they can go to any of the [affiliated] banks or ATMs to get cash, or just put money on the card,” Hanna added.
Hanna’s Advice for International Students
Hanna encourages students to reach out to advisors about any and all concerns. Her primary goal is to make sure students enjoy the transition – trust that your Shorelight counselor has your back!
The enrollment services, campus, and student success coordinator teams constantly work toward giving international students the best possible experience throughout their higher education experience in the US.
“When I get connected with students, I always let them know, please don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Hanna says. “We are always here, and that’s why we are here.”
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