I spoke recently with Tianxue Hu (Tess) and Jiacheng Zhang (James) about their experience with the iSuccess program and how they're looking forward to participate again this year, this time as mentors.
What is iSuccess? James described it as: “iSuccess is a program that prepares students for their new college life before the semester starts” and Tess referred to it as “a program that introduces the University and its resources and services to incoming international students”.
When asked why students should participate in the program, Tess said “you want to be familiar with the University and the campus and taking part in this program makes you feel much more confident and comfortable going in to your first semester”. James also mentioned that “it takes a while to adapt to a new country and culture, so you want to do that before classes start. iSuccess is also a great way to meet people and make friends, my first friends here were from the program!”
In the iSuccess program, every student is assigned a current student mentor, someone who knows exactly what it’s like to be in their shoes because they were in that same position a few years ago! James mentioned that these mentors are very helpful and knowledgable and both he and Tess agreed that it is great to have this balance between meeting people that, just like you, are incoming international students and have many questions and concerns, and meeting current students that have been through this process before.
When asked what type of events they participated in, Tess mentioned that they started off with many ice-breaker events, a campus tour and events focussed on getting them to know each other. She mentioned that: “it was interesting because in the beginning people were shy and no one knew each other, but after a while we opened up and got to know each other really well and had a lot of fun”.
One of the big attractions of the program is the workshops that they offer, which are directed to making students succeed in a US-style classroom and University. The workshops range from things like understanding what your professors want from you, to things like making american friends. James and Tess both agreed though, that the most helpful workshop was the writing workshop. James mentioned that “it’s great to have this first contact with writing in English in an academic level early on and the fact that the workshop is taught by one of the University’s writing professors makes it even better.”
So, to sum up, iSuccess is a great program that focuses on preparing students the best way they can to start their college life, all the while giving them the opportunity to meet other students from all over the world. The program will take place from August 15th to August 20th. For more information and the link to sign up for the program, see the following link.
We hope to see you there!