Purdue announces supplemental orientation program for international students

February 14, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new three-day program will help new and transfer, undergraduate international students adjust and acclimate to university life before they begin orientation programming that focuses on preparing them for success at Purdue.

"A pre-orientation program for international students provides an opportunity for them to arrive on campus early and better adjust to their new environment," said Joe Potts, associate dean of international programs and director of Office of International Students and Scholars. "It also increases their involvement in programming that will connect them to other students and the community. We strongly believe it will help prepare these students to be successful here. Purdue offers a diverse, enriched learning environment for all students because of the university's large international student body. This program is a way to help those students and strengthen that diversity.

BGRi, Boiler Gold Rush International, will be Aug. 8-11, and will help transition international students into the one-week Boiler Gold Rush program that is Aug. 12-17. During BGRi, the students will temporarily live in one residence hall and be assigned to student mentors. Time also will be allotted for required administrative interactions for international students to work with the Office of International Students and Scholars. The programming will include topics on Purdue resources and aspects of higher education in the United States. The small group format will help new students build relationships with their mentors and with one another.

There will be no cost for the students, because BGRi will be funded by International Programs, but the normal fees for participating in the one-week Boiler Gold Rush program will still apply.

BGRi is a joint effort of the Office of International Students and Scholars; Student Access, Transition and Success Programs; and University Residences.

"Feedback from current students has been very important in designing this addition to orientation activities," Potts said. "Purdue is already well-known for its strengths in first-year programming, and BGRi will ensure that hundreds of international students are well-prepared for the academic rigor, as well as the social and cultural environment, at Purdue."

Purdue has the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities, according to the 2011 Open Door report released by the Institute of International Education. The institute also reported that international students and their families contributed $20.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2010-11, with Purdue international students and their families contributing more than $219 million to the Indiana economy.

Purdue's Student Access, Transition and Success Programs, which has been recognized for its first-year programming by national higher education organizations, runs the one-week Boiler Gold Rush program each August. Research shows that students who participate in Boiler Gold Rush are more likely to stay at Purdue and be academically successful.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources:  Joe Potts, jdpotts@purdue.edu
                   Dan Carpenter, associate director of Student Access, Transition and Success Programs, 765-496-3618, dwcarpen@purdue.edu
                  Julie Talz, director of residential life in University Residences, jtalz@purdue.edu