Page 1

he internationa

20 12 20 13

c 4

International Students at USC were provided with more programming offerings than ever before during the 2012-2013 academic year. In addition to legacy programming like Orientation, Thinking Globally, Global Voices and International Education Week, this year, International Student Services (ISS) launched the “Buddies Beyond Borders” program where over 100 current USC students volunteered to help mentor newly arriving international students! ISS also initiated the “International Graduation Sashing Ceremony” in hopes of turning that concept into a tradition every semester. For the first time in history, International Students were able to proudly display their pride by wearing a sash representing their home country’s flag at commencement. International Student Services now serves nearly 1400 international students at USC representing over 100 countries. We will continue to strive to create programming and initiatives that help you succeed at the University.

letter from the director

6 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20

contents Orientation Fall 12 / Spring 13 Cultural Trips



International Student Organizations Indian Student Organization PANASA International Student Association Omani Student Association Association of Saudi Arabian Students Iranian Student Association World Night 2013 International Ed Week 2012 Fall 2012 Int’l Graduation


orien fall 2012 spring 2013

International Student Services welcomed 303 students to Carolina in the fall of 2012, which included 59 degree-seeking undergraduate students, 84 undergraduate exchange students, 148 degree-seeking graduate students and 12 graduate exchange students. In the spring of 2013, 80 students joined Carolina, including 27 degree-seeking undergraduate students, 19 undergraduate exchange students, 26 degree-seeking graduate students and 8 graduate exchange students. Students who participated in Orientation were able to attend various sessions during the day. One session covered all the important information to help students stay in status and meet all immigration requirements. Other sessions explained various aspects of international student life, from how to navigate paperwork that can sometimes be overwhelming, to getting involved on campus and in the community to be an accomplished Carolinian. Students were also presented with useful academics-related information on getting acclimated to the American educational system and being successful. At the end of Orientation attendees were able to ask questions to returning students, who shared valuable tips with new students. Orientation is always an exciting time for International Student Services as we welcome new students from all over the world and we get to start sharing some of Columbia’s Southern Hospitality with them.




culturalt Folly Beach State Fair Congaree Canoe Trip Hall of Horrors Corn Maze Village at Sandhills Bowling Trip Ice Skating Charleston & Fort Sumter Riverbanks Zoo Carolina Baseball Game Picnic at Sesquicentennial State Park Congaree State Park Hike Pearl Fryar Topiary Gardens Carowinds Wal-Mart Trips 6

ltrips By: Binda Niati


It was a beautiful April morning when we ventured to Carowinds in Charlotte, NC. We filled two minivans with ten students and three staff and began our journey. Even the two hour-long traffic jam could not deter our spirits. Once we arrived, the mood quickly shifted to excitement. Students were eager to get in and ride terrifying rollercoasters, water rides, and much more. The day was spent discovering Snoopy’s land, being thrown about on the Ricochet, and being terrified by the Intimidator. It was a fun-filled full day that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Congaree Nature Walk

By: Leigh Eleazer On March 2, 2013, ISS took a group of international students to the Congaree National Park. Because of the unseasonably chilly weather and high water levels, we were not able to go on a canoe trip through the swamp. However, the park ranger was able to take us on a beautiful tour of the National Park. Seeing the swamp at the end of winter was a very unique experience. While most of the trees did not have leaves, we did see some of the enormous loblolly pines that have their green needles year-round. The bald cypresses, perhaps the park’s most well-known type of tree, had “knees” jutting up from the flooded grounds, peeking over the water like tiny stepping stones. The park ranger explained how the cypress roots are partially above ground, hence the term “knees.” All around the swamp we saw trees that were hundreds of years old and shockingly tall and large. Most of the wildlife did not come out until about an hour into the walk as the day began to warm up. Red-belly woodpeckers made noisy appearances, pecking loudly on trees in search of food. Among the browns and grays of the swamp scenery, flashes of red were seen as cardinals flew through the area, perching high in the trees. What started as a quiet nature-walk quickly was filled with the clamor of birds waking up and singing their daily melodies. Students took many pictures along the walk and were able to make fond memories of experiencing the beautiful scenery of South Carolina’s floodplains! 7

Hall of Horrors

By: Leigh Eleazer On a very spooky Friday towards the end of October 2012, two very brave ISS staff members took a group of students to the mysterious Hall of Horrors out in West Columbia. Frightening tales of the haunted location had been whispered between students for weeks, but we had no idea what kind of terror would await us. In the pitch black night we entered the hall, but quickly we were divided into smaller groups. We worked our way through the terror that is the Hall of Horrors, dodging maniacal clowns, witnessing heinous acts of insanity, mutilation, and decapitation. Shrieks of panic echoed through the haunted chambers as hands reached out from the dark corners to grab unsuspecting victims. Just as we neared the end of the hall and thought we were safe, we heard the gut wrenching noise of a chainsaw starting up. With great dread, we turned to find Leather Face holding the chainsaw, ready to sever our limbs in the most gruesome way possible! We sprinted outside and left behind the horrific ordeal. After surviving such a trial, many students got French fries and fountain drinks to satiate the hunger they had worked up from being so frightened. Then, with the relief of being alive, we boarded the van and headed back to the Byrnes Building, all students in tact with all arms, fingers, and toes accounted for. It was a night we will never forget!


Charleston & Fort Sumter By: Sylvain Chabra

On Saturday, February 2nd 2012, international student services took a group of international students to Charleston, SC. After walking along the Battery and making our way to downtown Charleston everyone got to enjoy some Southern food. We all met back and went to the ferry terminal where we took a fun boat ride to Historic Fort Sumter. We got to hear from a Park Ranger about the important Civil War events that took place in the Fort along with some interesting stories about Charleston Harbor. We then had some time to walk around the Fort before the boat ride back to downtown Charleston. After a fun day rich in learning, we made our way back to USC on time for some students to go cheer on the Carolina basketball team

Ice Skating

By: Casey Corcoran

Although the winter season in South Carolina is typically short and mild, there are usually a few weeks in January when the winter doldrums strike. To brighten spirits during that chilly time, International Student Services introduced students to ice skating, one of America’s favorite winter pastimes. On January 25, 2013, ISS staff members, Casey Corcoran and Gabriela Gillespie, took a group of seven international students to the ice skating rink at Plex Indoor Sports in Irmo, SC. After arriving at the rink, they exchanged their shoes for ice skates, and were ready to test their balance on the ice. The first 30-45 minutes were packed with slips, trips, and clinging to the walls of the rink, but eventually, the group started to get the hang of it. They returned to campus that night with cold hands and a new found appreciation of ice skating.

Pear Fryer Topiary Gardens By: Jody Pritt On March 29th, the ISS Director and Assistant Director, Jody Pritt and Casey Corcoran took a group of students the Pearl Fryar Topiary Gardens in Bishopville, South Carolina. It was the perfect spring day to stroll around and admire the spectacular gardens. The spring weather was equally as beautiful that day and some students used the opportunity to catch some sun and much needed rest. This was the first year ISS took students to the gardens and there are sure to be more visits in the future!

Riverbanks Zoo By: Tyler Macchio On February 8th, 7 international students took a trip to the Riverbank Zoo. Students had a blast exploring the large zoo area. One particular student was thrilled to see an exotic animal that was from their home country but they had never seen before. The highlight of the trip was getting to feed the giraffes that came right up to the students. They also enjoyed walking with kangaroos and getting to feed parrots nectar while they perched on their fingers and shoulders.


Indian Student Organization PANASA International Student Association Bangladesh Student Association Association of Saudi Arabian Students Egyptian Student Association Omani Student Association Iranian Students Association Vietnamese Student Association Indian Cultural Exchange

internationa student organizat 10

Indian Student Organiza tion

al tions



Pan-African Student Association Excerpt from Daily Gamecock By: Khadijah Dennis & Taylor Fontan

Africa Night

All 54 African countries were represented through songs, dance and cuisine shared throughout the night. “A lot of [our native] students don’t have family here. We want to be that family,” said Ekib Ekure,, a fourth-year African American Studies student who was one of the hosts for the event. Students were welcomed with a “home cooked” meal that gave them a preview of the night’s authentic qualities. Dishes ranged from Ghanaian bean dish to Alloco from Cote d’Ivoire. Next, guests took their seats and the program began with a comical skit. The night continued with the unique rythms of the African drums, and visitors were encouraged to dance to the beat as if they were participating in a Ghanaian drum circle. Performers then told traditional stories, including one myth in which a village needed to save its queen with the sacrifice of an antelope. International student adviser Binda Niati was one of the coordinators for the event. Looking around, she said she was amazed to see the overwhelming crowd of guests that wanted to take part in the celebration of the countries.


Article from The Daily Gamecock, Mar. 8, 2013

t h g i ld N

r o W

International Student Association Photos by: Devin Pascoe


Omani Student Association

Omani Culture Night

The Omani Student Association (OSA) succeeded once again in drawing in over two hundred people to the Russell house Ballroom for Omani Culture Night. On February the 21st, following a number of events organized by the association, the guests were eager to attend the cultural night in order to discover more about the country and its rich culture. This time, the guests who had attended the same event in the past, were surprised to see that there was no stage where many plays and dances would take place. Instead, the event proceeded as an exhibition with five tables. The first one represented the American and Omani relationship where the guests could learn more about the history of the connection between the two countries in a political, economic and academic context. A few steps away, there was the fashion and cosmetics table where the Omani girls stood, dressed in their traditional attire. The girls also had some more dresses for the guests to try on in the photo booth corner. Additionally, the table also had some old-fashioned cosmetics: henna, oud, flower water, a selection of Amouage perfumes and some traditional lotions. The third table was the tourism table where the guests were provided with some handouts from the ministry of tourism. The guests were told how important tourism is to the economy of the country. The guests also had the chance to participate in some traditional games such as: Kubeh and Lakkad. The final part of the exhibition was the food table, which contained lukaymat, mandazi, sheareya, tea, coffee, dates and much more, all cooked by the members of the association. The main objective of this event was to educate the foreigners about Omani culture and OSA certainly succeeded in delivering a summary of what it’s like to live in Oman during the course of this three hour event. 14

By: Lujaina Al Maskari

Association of Saudi Arabian Students PHOTO

Saudi National Day

The Association of Saudi Arabian Students (ASAS) is a group of students from Saudi Arabia who came to USC to learn English and pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees. They have around 170 members.

On September 23rd, 2012, ASAS celebrated the Saudi Arabian National Day. Being away from home, they shared their celebration with the student body on Greene Street. The fair showcased the culture and traditions of Saudi Arabia. The main attraction was the photo booth, which was a traditional Arabic corner. Before taking their photos, the visitors had to be prepped. In the women’s booth, the ladies got free henna tattoos with Arabic calligraphy and wore traditional dresses. The men wore the “thobe” and learned how to put on the “Shimagh”, the traditional male headdress. As they waited in line to get their photos taken, the visitors were served Arabic coffee and dessert. After that, the Saudi students handed out pamphlets and informed the visitors about their country. The topics ranged from history and religion to cooking and recipes. At noon, the Saudi students performed a traditional dance, and then played more traditional music and gave the Americans a chance to join the fun.

By: Bader Almandeel


Iranian Student

Indian Cultural Exchange

The Iranian Student Association was very active in the 2012-2013 academic year. In the Spring of 2013, the Iranian Student Association hosted the Persian New Year for the year 1392. The event was held in the Russell House ballroom, where the group hosted honored guests President Pastides and his wife. After the celebration, the Iranians awarded the president with a plaque that is a small replica of the window art display they did for ISS in the Fall of 2012. During the event, as well as during World Night, the Iranians performed the Baba Karam dance. The Baba Karam dance is a fusion of three different dance styles. One dance is derived from a Sufi story where a servant at the court of the king falls in love with one of the king’s girls. This is followed by a song of grief from the servant who is unable to be with the girl he loves. Another one of the three dances is indigenous to Iranian culture and is known for its signature hand movements and slow circular hip movements. The last dance is a collection of traditional hand-holding dances similar to round 16 dancing which incorporates rhythmic and elegant movements.

t Association

By: Maria Hosseinipour - VP


By: Frauke Becker


World Night is USC’s larges event, showcasing performa every region of the world b and local students. It is a joi of the International Student and the International Studen office. This year it took plac day, March 30th, in the Russ Ballroom. Performances inc SA, Iranian Student Associat Omani Student Association, dent Organization, a Fashio gladesh Student Association Japanese Club, a dragon sh Xin Yang & Devin Sherman instrumental piece called Im na, and Rajshekhar Sarkar s Evening Blues’. Additionally could sample food from an a national cuisine. A new feature was introduce with a polling service, that w determine the winner in thr PANASA won in the categor Dance’, The Japanese Club category ‘Musical Act’ and t Classical Dance won the cat sical Dance’. Verizon spons to various restaurants aroun for the winners.


st cultural ances from by international int production Association nt Services ce on Satursell House cluded PANAtion, Moksha, , Indian Stuonshow, Bann, Swype, the how, as well as performing an mages of Chisinging ‘The y the audience array of inter-

ed this year was used to ree categories. ry ‘Modern won in the the Chinese tegory ‘Classored giftcards nd Columbia


Exchange Students at

Study Abroad Fair

The International Spouse Club (ISC) at USC was founded in February 2013 by a small group of spouses at USC with international backgrounds. Our mission is to help connect and become friends with other international spouses at USC, especially those that are new to Columbia, SC. We hope to make our lives in a foreign county, which can sometimes be lonely and challenging, more fun and fulfilling by joining in and creating various activities together. In the Spring semester, we met once a week on Fridays to cook favorite dishes from our different home countries, including Korea, Turkey, Chile, France, and Iran. We also took a tour of the SC State House and had a picnic at a nearby park. We hope to diversify and continue our group activities by adding many new members and making unforgettable memories together in Columbia.

International Education Week

By: Binda Niati


This year’s International Education Week was a tremendous success. The week, starting Monday, November 12th-November 16th, 2012, offered a variety of cultural, educational, and social events that reached thousands of students campus-wide. We had volunteers from several departments who came together and worked to create an amazing week of educational, fun, and interactive events. This year saw an increase of events to 30, that were well attended and offered students the opportunity to learn more about the growing international presence in Columbia. The week began with the annual International Bazaar on Greene Street, from 11-2pm, where we had over 1,000 students in attendance. This year, we decided to have students compete as to who had the best table display. There were over 40 countries/regions and student organizations represented and competing. Each display was beautifully decorated with pictures, art, and some even had traditional foods to serve. Judges unanimously voted for the Saudi Arabian student display as the winner of the contest with the Omani display coming in a close second. The winners were gifted with a gift certificate to local eateries.

Thinking Globally

By: Lauren Lowe The Thinking Globally Program connects international student ambassadors with University and community audiences. These ambassadors present to first year students enrolled in University 101. They also present to USC academic classes on subjects that include public health, sustainability, and religion. Ambassadors also travel to local schools to present to preschool through twelfth grade students as well as to military personnel at nearby Fort Jackson. Thinking Globally allows international students to refine their speaking and facilitation skills, serve as ambassadors for their countries, and encourage American students to explore cultures different from their own. In fall 2012, thirty-three international students from eighteen countries trained to become Thinking Globally ambassadors. These ambassadors reached forty University 101 classes, two USC Public Health classes, one USC education class, one student organization, one elementary school, and two Verizon Wireless events. In spring 2013, forty-four ambassadors from twenty-one countries reached six Columbia schools total, one student organization, and three USC classes. Spring 2013 Ambassadors interacted with fifty-five community classes and five USC classes. In summary, the 2012-2013 school year ambassadors reached 3,103 students at USC and throughout the community. 23

Graduation Ceremony

International Graduates May 2013 On a brisk winter day, thirty soon to be graduates gathered in the Gressette Room of Harper College for a sashing ceremony. December 14th, 2012 at 6:30pm, was the beginning of a new tradition at ISS and USC. The International Graduation Sashing Ceremony was developed as a way to celebrate our graduating international students. Giddy with anticipation and anxious for their new futures, students, family, and friends gathered to share in the laughs, the accolades, and the delicious food. The evening began with a welcome speech by Alice Valdetaro, who spoke candidly about her journey from Brazil to the U.S. Yong Sun was awarded the Outstanding Graduating International Student award for his contributions to the USC community, ISS, and his research with electronic whiskers. Students who chose to participate in the sashing part of the ceremony were bestowed a sash emblazoned with their country’s flag to celebrate their graduation and their cultural identity. The following semester, ISS held another Graduation Sashing Ceremony in May 2013 for the spring graduates (pictured above). Mazin Al Masrouri spoke of the journey that so many of our international students took in pursuing a degree at USC, far from their home countries and families. The warm evening was filled with laughter and memories as our newest graduates looked forward to the next steps in their sure to be successful lives.

By: Binda Niati

Jody Pritt Director

Casey Corcoran Assistant Director

Binda Niati Advisor

Sylvain Chabra Advisor

Tyler Macchio Admin Specialist

Leigh Eleazer Immigration Specialist

Lauren Lowe Graduate Assistant

Frauke Becker Graduate Assistant

ISS STAFF of 2012-2013

Gabriella Gillespie Advisor 2012-2013

Devin Pascoe Internationalization Intern Spring 2013

Bader Almandeel Internationalization Intern Fall 2012

Madison Mikhail Student Worker Spring 2013

Bora Kim Student Worker Fall 2012

Ryan Lloyd Practicum Student Fall 2012

Leslie Pitman Practicum Student Fall 2012

Saad Bushaala Driver 2012-2013

Sarah McClanahan Practicum Student Fall 2012


d e t c e n

n o c y ts a

Follow us...

Facebook: International Student

the University of South Carolina

Twitter: @usciss YouTube: IntlStudentServices Instagram: usciss


Services at

International Student Services 901 Sumter Street Byrnes Building, Suite 123 Columbia, SC 29208 Ph: 803-777-7461 Fax: 803-777-0462 Email: Web:

International Yearbook, 2012-2013  

International highlights of the 2012-2013 school year at the University of South Carolina.

International Yearbook, 2012-2013  

International highlights of the 2012-2013 school year at the University of South Carolina.