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International Parents Experience Warm Hoosier Hospitality

One of the more difficult events in parents' lives is seeing their child leave home for the first time. To help in this transition, over 150 parents and family members of new international students participated in ISS activities and events just for parents offered August 6 through August 17. Parents from more than seventeen countries (including China, India, Indonesia, Germany, the Philippines, Honduras, Mauritius, Nigeria and Guatemala) learned that Purdue and the surrounding community offer their student so much more than a first class education.

Mayor Dennis and Mayor Roswarski presented parents with "the key to Greater Lafayette" at a welcome picnic for parents at Columbian Park on Tuesday, August 6. Bus and walking tours gave parents a glimpse of Purdue landmarks and area amenities for shopping, entertainment, sports and recreation. Parents learned ways their students can stay well and safe, succeed academically, and connect locally in the community.

Parents were impressed by the number of staff, resources and services available to their students. Several parents commented how glad they were to see programs like BGRi and the International Friendship Program, programs designed to help international students settle in, adjust and quickly feel at home. "My son has the opportunity to get acquainted with Americans right from the start. It's one of the reasons we decided he should study abroad," one father expressed, a sentiment shared by other parents. Perhaps for parents, the greatest gift they received was seeing the smiling face of their child and the way they were finding their way around with the help of new friends.

What parents have to say - Saraswats

Manish Saraswat familyWith obvious pride that their elder son is now an engineering student at Purdue University, Manish and Jyotsna Saraswat and their younger son, Shiv, stand beside the Purdue welcome sign. Their enthusiasm was contagious, despite some melancholy about having to say good-bye to their son, Ram, and returning home to Dubai. The Saraswats are a family of engineers: dad is a Polymer Engineer; mom is an electrical engineer; and both sons plan to follow in their footsteps. During a conversation at the International Parents' Reception, it was clear that the Saraswats have analytic minds, but also kind and loving hearts. In Manish's words, "We are blessed with two sons, Ram, freshman 'Boiler Maker' and Shiv, in grade VI 'Future Boiler Maker'." He added, "The orientation program for parents of international students was very impressive. It made us feel proud that our son has joined the great ‘PURDUE FAMILY'."

How Purdue parents can stay informed:

  1. Visit the Purdue parents' home page and register for the Purdue parents' e-newsletter: http://www.purdue.edu/purdue/Parents_families/index.html. The homepage includes links and resources helpful for students and parents alike.
  2. Connect with other Purdue parents at http://www.facebook.com/PurdueParents