New international, Purdue students to MIX at Winter Welcome

January 8, 2014  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue is launching a pilot program this week to help acclimate new international undergraduate students and create more opportunities for Purdue students to develop individual friendships with students from different cultures.

Winter Welcome, which runs Wednesday to Sunday (Jan. 8-12), is part of the new Multinational Integration Xchange (MIX) program offered by the Office of International Programs. Winter Welcome will pair current Purdue students with 148 new international students to help them adjust to American campus life prior to classes beginning on Monday (Jan. 13).

"Purdue is 22 percent international by design, and MIX is another way to support a campus that is culturally welcoming," said David Ayers, associate dean of International Programs. "The international experience is part of the educational experience at Purdue, and that is something students cannot get everywhere. It's a lost opportunity if a Purdue student leaves here without making a friend from another culture."

Purdue has the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities and is third overall among both public and private universities. The 978 new international first-year students on campus this fall will be joined by 148 new undergraduate international students for the spring semester. As of Fall 2013, Purdue was home to 8,702 total international students. That number will be updated in January to adjust for December graduations and new undergraduate and graduate international students.

All of the 148 new undergraduate students are invited to participate in MIX, and some of them have connected via email or social media with MIX Purdue students who will help all the new students find their way on campus, join them for meals and learn about public transportation.

"We hear from domestic and international students that they want to be more integrated, but they are not sure how to begin," said Annette Benson, coordinator for programs and engagement. "MIX is a way for us to be proactive and be a leader to help make these connections."

This semester's MIX students are two-thirds U.S. citizens and one-third international. More Purdue students will be recruited to prepare for the program's launch in the fall. Training will focus on cross-cultural communication and will have different components. Purdue students interested in participating in MIX can contact Benson at abenson@purdue.edu  

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

Sources: David Ayers, 765-494-8463, ayersd@purdue.edu 

Annette Benson, 765-494-0614, abenson@purdue.edu

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