Darden’s Global Community got a little bit bigger beginning August 1, when we welcomed 112 new students to the International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) for the Class of 2023. Incoming international students from 34 countries participated in the 4-day program that consisted of networking events, international recruiting tips, financial aid presentations, academic tactics for success, an exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Main Grounds and exposure to some quintessential American Collegiate culture.
ISOP is a hallmark event hosted by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Career Development Center (CDC) and Center for Global Initiatives (CGI). This year, ISOP helped kick-off the new academic year by bringing together the incoming international students to get a preview of what to expect in the next two years of Darden. Sessions, held in both in-person and virtual formats, included some of the following topics:
- Mock cases with esteemed Darden faculty
- Panels of Second Year students covering various aspects of student life at Darden
- Recruiting advice specific to international students
- Important information regarding student visa status maintenance and financial aid
Beyond pragmatic tips for success, the program also featured many socializing opportunities for students to get to know each other such as an Olympics celebration dinner, a football 101 inclusive of a Scott Stadium visit to the locker room, a run down the field and a tailgate event in the Press Box! Students left feeling enthusiastic, motivated and eager to begin their time at Darden. Shida Xu, one of the ISOP graduates, said it best:
I feel like ISOP is very well-designed, as it helped me prepare culturally, socially, and academically. It actually helped in every aspect I could think of in student life! I especially value the Shanghai Disney case and Football 101, and I admire the fact that it was really a fun process while I got to learn things. Last but not least, I got to meet this incredible community, and made friends along the way!