BW Welcoming International Students

Baldwin Wallace works closely with the international students in making their transition to the BW campus more manageable.

Taylor McElwain, a Leadership in Higher Education (LHE) intern for diversity affairs and international student services, works very closely with the international students. Each year, 15 to 20 international students join BW’s student body.

“BW establishes a relationship with the international [students] before they step foot on campus,” said McElwain.

When the international student gets off of the plane, McElwain said they are greeted by a BW student ambassador who helps them get acquainted with the campus and Berea area. The student ambassadors help them with their schedules and finding classes, said McElwain.

Each international student gets tested to see what classes they need to be placed in or would be interested in. The student ambassadors also help them pass and be successful during their time at BW.

Isabella Schiavon, a senior from Brazil, said school at BW is unlike the school she attends in Brazil.

“If you’re an international student [in Brazil], they would just throw you in. At BW, they take the time out and help you and show you around,” said Schiavon.

Schiavon said the first week of orientation was important to help her transition into school in the United States. She also said that she is treated as an equal here by other students as well as the professors.

“BW is a place that is full of diversity and the international students should not feel out of place,” said McElwain. “It’s like home away from home.”

Each year, new ideas are created to make the international program better.

Schiavon, a second semester international transfer student, said she likes how BW treats the international students and appreciates everything that is done to help ease the transition.

Each month, Diversity Affairs hosts a culture café where all international students are allowed to show other students what is it like back home. McElwain said the café has the international student’s favorite meals they would enjoy in their culture.

Bringing the students together allows them to share their experiences and talk about their culture more, said McElwain.

Schiavon told her friends from Brazil who will be attending BW in the fall about the opportunities available to them. She said she knows they are going to have great experience.

Schiavon said she feels like she would be welcomed to be apart of multiple organizations across campus.

“They are always willing to help out the international students any way possible because they want them to have the best experience here on this campus,” said Schiavon.