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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September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
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