New Paltz International Orientation
It has been an exciting few days:
I moved back onto campus. It feels good to be back but I miss Melbourne. After some unpacking I walked to the Student Union Building to look at the new addition. It’s amazing.
I woke up in the morning and walked to the incoming international students office. I met up with Jeff, Warren, and Mo. We all got into a car and drove down to NYC to pick up students at JFK. I was given a list of people that we had to pick up, a sign (like in the movie at airports) that read “Welcome, SUNY New Paltz International Programs”. I was also wearing a shirt that said the same without the word “Welcome” and I had my New Paltz bag on too. I walked around the airport, going between terminals on the AirTrain. I would pick up a student, welcome them, and bring them back to Terminal 1. All of this was done with an excess of enthusiasm due to the large cup of coffee (caw-fee) that I had drunk in the car and finished on the AirTrain; drunk faster than a coffee should be.
At three, I went back to Terminal 1 and boarded a bus with roughly 25-40 international students. I communicated with the International Office back on campus via mobile; telling them where we were as we progressed back towards campus. We made a stop at a hotel where I got nervous that people were going to get off that weren’t supposed to; but I think everyone stayed on that was supposed to. We arrived on campus and I assisted the students to bring their luggage off the bus and into a dorm. The students were then given information and their room keys along with pizza and drinks. I had met Jo, one of my Australian friends, on the bus along with some other Australians I didn’t know. In the room where they were serving pizza and giving out information I met one of my other Australian friends, Cassie. After pizza I walked with Jo and Lauren to their dorm where they are staying. After getting their luggage into their rooms I walked to my room to pick up a spare set of sheets for Lauren who didn’t have any. On the way back to Lauren I ran across a student from Turkey who I helped find and get inside her dorm before returning to Lauren and Jo with the sheets. We went to Jo’s room and helped Jo get her WiFi set up. Jo and I then went back to the dorm where the pizza was served. I eventually ended up with Jo, another Australian, and some British girls in someone’s room where we played a word game, told jokes, and laughed about cultural differences.
I woke up and met some of the students at Gage Hall because they didn’t know how to get to the dining hall. At 8:30 we all walked over to the dining hall for breakfast. I wish I had been given the welcoming that the international students are getting here when I arrived in Melbourne. I had lunch with friends and then at five we all went to the Poughkeepsie Galleria. I tried to organize a movie trip but the internationals needed to do shopping and I simply went with a group of my American friends to see a movie. My newest American friend gave me a ride back to New Paltz. We got a little lost and most likely got him into trouble for being out too late.
It’s been a great start to the new semester and what looks like the beginning of a very exciting year. I plan on applying to become an RA and an OL. I believe I would grow a lot as a person from both experiences.