Sarah Geegan

K Week International Orients Students From Across the Globe Into Wildcat Family

Published: Aug 20, 2013

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Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2013) University of Kentucky students come from all over the map — from as nearby as Fayette county, to as far away as Vietnam. Though their hometowns vary, they all share one thing in common; they're part of a Big Blue community that comes together during one of the most exciting times on UK's campus: K Week.

 

For international students at UK, K Week starts a week earlier, with K Week International Orientation, a series of events designed especially to support students coming to UK from abroad. More than 400 international undergraduate, graduate and CESL (Center for English as a Second Language) students will arrive during K Week International Orientation; UK currently hosts approximately 1,900 international students from 114 different countries.

 

The week allows them to meet and engage with other international students and to learn about important campus resources.

 

SahleMichael Hailu, a mechanical engineering student from Ethiopia participated in K Week International when he first arrived in Lexington; he said the experience helped him grow not only as a student, but as a person.

 

"When you come to a different place, the best part of being a part of a different country is the transition you make into the culture and the things you learn," he said. "If you just stick to the community you're used to, there's nothing you're learning and there is nothing you're experiencing. So coming to a place like Lexington was a really great opportunity for me to adjust to a new environment. I'm glad that I utilized it to its full potential."

 

Elizabeth Leibach, director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the UK International Center (UKIC) sees K Week International as a soft landing to what will be a challenging and exciting journey in the lives of many international students at UK.

 

"Some of these students have never been out of their home country or even on an airplane until this trip," Leibach said. "Students who take full advantage of this week, and the various sections of UK 101, which are also taught by some of the ISSS staff, will be more successful in navigating the maze of college life and U.S. culture."

 

ISSS provides expertise in the advising and immigration needs of the more than 1,900 international students, 325 international faculty and staff and 250 exchange visitors at UK. ISSS also administers university compliance with evolving federal regulations and facilitates the well-being of all international students, faculty, staff and scholars. K Week International plays a big role in enhancing students' well-being.

 

The week includes social events that allow students to interact with other international students. Bill Aboagye, a medical laboratory science sophomore from Ghana, said that the best part of K Week International for him were the relationships that he generated.

 

"I made friends from my first day here at UK and in the U.S. generally, and they are still my friends now," Aboagye said. "Many people helped me out with many other things that I needed help with, my academics, with getting to network with people and finding a first family away from home. Lexington is an amazing community. There are many people that you can easily talk to, even people you don't know, and now UK people are my family."

 

The week also includes informative sessions with speakers and representatives from campus resources. An Ho, a biochemistry senior from Vietnam, said that she appreciated both types of events, social and informative.

 

"I received a lot of information about immigration status, for example, and how to maintain that, so the information was very helpful,"  Ho said. " Also, I'm kind of an introverted person, so it's sometimes hard for me to talk with people, especially in English, because it's not my first language. These events helped me try to be brave, so I talked to more people. The more people I talked to, I found that they are really friendly. I found out I had to open up more."

 

Zinan Chen, an alumna from Beijing, China, with a degree in mathematics, said that K Week International fostered a feeling of unity — an idea that international students at UK would embrace their new community together.

 

"I remember sitting outside UK International Center in a round circle talking about culture shock," Chen said. "To listen to other international students talking about it makes you less afraid because everyone is facing problems, and it gets better. I would tell anyone not to be scared to come here; I love Lexington. Being from Beijing, a very crowded city, it was a big difference coming here when I first arrived, but now when I go visit other places in the U.S., I always feel like Lexington is my hometown now."

 

UKIC internationalizes UK's campus by recruiting students from around the world — students who transform the university through diverse perspectives in education and research, as well as unique insight into global issues.

 

“Internationalization of our campus is an imperative for a number of reasons," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "We provide an even better education for our students when the environment is diverse and inclusive, when students are engaged with people from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds. That is precisely what they will encounter as they compete in a global, interdependent economy."

 

The UKIC provides leadership, raises awareness, facilitates the pursuit of international education and encourages global collaborations for the university community and the Commonwealth.

 

K Week International began on Saturday, Aug. 17. Click here for a full schedule of events.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan. (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

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November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

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