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The International






The 20112012 Academic Year was quite a success for International Student S e r v i c e s . The fall 2012, international student body saw a record high enrollment of 1,348 students, a 7.3% increase over the previous year.  International Student Services was, and continues to be, dedicated to providing outstanding services to USC international students and is committed to the advancement of international education at the University.  International students add to the richness and diversity of the USC student body, and bring with them unique points of view to both the classroom and campus community. They add a perspective that might have otherwise not been visible and they, too, get to learn other perspectives. International student services believes that these types of interactions are the foundation of mutual respect and understanding, the benefit of which goes far beyond the campus experience. International Student Services is prudent in fostering and supporting the demand for such internationalization experiences and it is our hope, that this yearbook, will demonstrate those remarkable efforts.

Meet the Staff Gaby Gillespie International Student Advisor

Casey Corcoran Immigration Compliance Manager Sylvain Chabra International Student Adivisor Sarah Okawa Immigration Specialist

Leigh Eleazer Administrative Assistant

Emily Kolm International Student Advisor Alice Valdetaro Graduate Assistant

Jenn Smith Graduate Assistant Oswaldo Zapata Student Assistant Frauke Becker Student Assistant

Jody Pritt

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Orientation Fall 2011/Spring 2012 Cultural Trips International Student Organizations Exchange Students World Night Travis’ Thanksgiving Sponsored Students Presidents Reception for International Students Graduate Reception International Education Week International Student Spotlight Thinking Globally Branch Campus Visits USC Salkahatchie University hosts Scholar/ Midtown Church International Lunch Global Voice Friends of International Scholarship Fund Columbia Council for Internationals International House at Maxcy



40 |3|

Orientation was held throughout the entire month of August 2011, with the Welcome Event falling on the 14th. About 400 new students were in attendance throughout the month. The international student services’ staff welcomed all of the new students and led various sections of the orientations. The Fall 2011 orientation season was both a challenging and rewarding time for ISS. During the summer of 2011, a number of staff members left ISS to pursue academic, professional, and personal goals. This left us with a much smaller staff than we were used to during our busiest time of year.

Orientation Fall 2011/Spring 2012 by Casey Corcoran & Gabriela Gillespie

Although we were short-staffed, we managed to successfully welcome nearly 400 new international students to USC. ISS offered 15 small orientation sessions throughout the month of August. Students were required to attend one of the sessions where they checked in, met ISS staff, and learned about their immigration statuses. All new students were encouraged to attend our annual International Student Welcome Event, which was held at the Golden Spur Game Room in the Russell House. Students had the opportunity to fill up on pizza and get to know one another over games of table tennis, pool, and foosball. This was the first time that this event was held at the Golden Spur Game Room, and it was a huge hit with our students.


Spring 2012, 84 new international students joined the University of South Carolina family! On January 5th 2012 International Student Services welcomed the majority of these new students through its spring orientation. The revamped format was a pilot orientation which will be implemented in upcoming semesters. The new setup started with welcome remarks from ISS, as well as a plenary session featuring important immigration information. Students were then divided into small groups and attended sessions covering various topics, including academics in the U.S., safety issues, how to get involved, health, housing and job opportunities. The staff of International Student Services led these sessions with the help of guest speakers, including Officer Kenny Adams from the USC Campus Police. New students also got to interact with returning international students through a Q&A session. Refreshments and lunch were provided and students were given “passports� to be stamped at each session. Students who completed all sessions were entered in a drawing and could win prizes such as Frisbees and movie tickets provided by the Nickelodeon. An optional campus tour was then offered so that new students could get acquainted with what USC has to offer. The day ended with a welcome party at the Golden Spur Game Room in the Russell House, giving more time to new students to make friends before the start of classes. International Student Services would like to thank Ally Layton, who interned with us during Orientation and made this event a success, as well as all the student volunteers who helped with check-in and guiding students throughout the day. Welcome to all our new students!

CulturalTrips State House Hall of Horrors Charleston Congaree Canoe Cease Farm Corn Maze Trip Baseball Game Ice Skating State Fair Bowling Trip Wal Mart Trips |6|

Trip to the State House by Emily Kolm


t the intersection of Gervais and Main Street in Columbia, 27 international students met to begin their tour of the South Carolina State House. The group was shown a film detailing the complex and fascinating history of the building, including the fact that Columbia became the capitol as a geographic compromise between the coast and the interior of the state. Students then took a tour with a State House guide through the inside of the building. Although the legislature was on a furlough, the group was able to view the House chamber and the South Carolina Mace, the oldest legislative Mace in use in the U.S. Other unique facts were shared with the group, including the existence of a “false dome” in the capitol and the fact that the capitol is built from blue granite, the state stone. Students actively engaged the guide with questions about South Carolina’s state government structure and function. Students were then given scavenger hunt sheets to take self-tours around the outside of the capitol. After viewing historic markers as diverse as stars marking cannonball damage from the Civil War to the African American History Monument, students returned to campus with greater knowledge about the state of South Carolina and its governing structures.

Hall of Horrors

by Sylvain Chabra

On Friday October, 7th 2011 International Student Services took a group of 12 students to a Haunted House in Cayce, SC. At the Jaycee’s Hall of Horrors, ticket proceeds benefit local and state charities, including SC Jaycee Camp Hope, which benefits mentally challenged children and adults. The ISS van left the Byrnes building at dusk and students got to tour the haunted house and experience a fun, thrilling and scary visit. After escaping miraculously we were able to come back to USC… with most students.


February 25th, 2012 Charleston Trip by Sylvain Chabra


n Saturday, February 25th, ISS took a group of 12 students to Charleston, SC.

After a brief stop on the way out of Columbia at the Krispy Kreme donut factory where students all got to try the warm treats, the ISS van made its way to Charleston. By late morning we got to the Charleston Welcome Center and everyone was able to pick up brochures, learn about the city and make plans for the day. We started our visit with the beautiful Battery Park and its historic mansions, walking up the historic streets that make Charleston’s charm. We then visited the Russell House (the Nathaniel Russell House that is), a stunning historic mansion built in 1808. Our guided visited was very interesting but seeing luscious dining rooms with 19th century China made everyone hungry... We all then went to lunch at famous Hyman’s Seafood Restaurant where stars dine (we were glad to sit at Hootie and the Blowfish’s table…) and fried seafood abound. Student got to try fried green tomatoes, boiled peanuts and other southern specialties. The group then split with some students going to the Charleston Aquarium while others shopped on King Street or in the market, trying pralines or buying baskets on the way. We made our way back through Riverfront Park, down by Rainbow Row and its beautiful rainbow-colored houses all the way back to the van. Everyone had a great day and many slept on the ride back to Columbia!

Photo courtesy of Mingzhe Du

by Leigh Eleazer


n a brisk Saturday morning at the end of October, ISS took eleven students on a canoe trip in the Congaree National Park. We got down to the park early and students had a little bit of time to look through the visitor center.  The visitor center expertly combined visual exhibits, such as nature scenes of the park, and written information, such as explanations of biodiversity within the swamp.  We watched a fascinating short film about the park’s ecology and history. Then we were ready to go canoeing! Our guide asked us to pick a partner and explained how the person in the front of the canoe would be the “look-out” while the person in the back would be steering.  She taught us the basics of paddling, how to go straight by making sure we were paddling in sync but on opposite sides of each other, how to turn by either pushing the paddle away from or pulling the paddle towards the canoe, and how to make sure we were properly distributing our weight when climbing into or out of the canoe.  Once we got the basics down, we started off down the river. It was truly a beautiful morn-

October 29th, 2011 Congaree Canoe Trip

ing on the water. The enormous cypresses shaded most of the water, but the occasional sunny spots illuminated the serene beauty of nature.  We saw many different kinds of birds and learned all about the unique trees and underbrush of the forest.  This was an amazing trip to be a part of. The students were able to have a unique experience with the one-of-a-kind Congaree National Park.  Though the history and culture of South Carolina is incredibly important for international students to learn about, the natural history of this park allowed students to glimpse an untouched part of South Carolina that many never know is here. 


February 17th, 2012

November 4th, 2011 Sease Farm Corn Maze Trip by Sarah Okawa It was a chilly November night as a small group of students, Jody and I ventured off to Lexington to visit the Clinton Sease Farm to attempt their famous corn maze. Upon arriving we watched an instructional video on the “do’s and don’ts” of the maze and discovered that there would be clues, pictures, and games to help navigate along the way.   We were given a large flag pole, which was only to be used as a point of contact if we got lost.  Then off we went, with our flagpole and flashlights in hand!  Going into it, I think we all were assuming our journey was going to be a breeze.  At the start there was a giant picture of the entire maze that one of the students managed to get a half picture of with his cell phone.  It wasn’t long before we realized that finding our way out would be much more difficult than we had anticipated.  The “so called” clues and pictures didn’t help at all.  We tried desperately to find our way by using the picture the student had taken but quickly realized it was useless.   We got lost several times and contemplated waving our flagpole.  But we didn’t give up and realized that we’d have to work as a team and rely on each other to find a way.  We put our directional skills to work and with that, plus a few tips from a corn maze employee, two hours later we managed to find our way out!  This event was a great teambuilding and bonding experience for both the students and staff.  Next year our goal is to master the maze in half the time!


Baseball Game

by Leigh Eleazer

In mid-February, ISS and EPI (English Programs for Internationals) teamed up to give students a handson experience with America’s favorite pastime: baseball! The evening before the baseball game, a quick info session was given by Joe Daggett, a former sportscaster for the local news on WIS-TV. Now a teacher for EPI, Joe gave a wonderful presentation all about baseball.  Using props, such as an actual baseball, a couple bats, and a catcher’s mitt, Joe taught the basics to how the game is played and gave a brief history of how baseball became such a big part of American culture.  Students also learned the song that every baseball fan knows, regardless of where his or her allegiance lies: Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  The following afternoon, a large mixture of EPI and USC International students met at the Carolina Stadium to watch the first Gamecock baseball game of the 2012 season.  The Gamecocks had won the National Championships two years in a row.  This was the first game since the previous championship held over the summer, so there were many high expectations.  With the ambition to be 3rd year champions, the Gamecocks did not disappoint in the opening game, winning 2 – 1 against VMI (Virginia Military Institute). The game was tons of fun to watch and the weather was perfect.  Students got the opportunity to eat any of the tasty, traditional baseball treats that were available, such as hot dogs, boiled peanuts, soft pretzels, french-fries and popcorn.  Everyone really seemed to have a great time cheering on our Gamecocks!

Other Trips: October 14th, 2011 State Fair

January 27th, 2012 Ice Skating Trip

by Sarah Okawa

It was a beautiful Friday in January when Alice and I bused a group of students over to Lexington to the Plex Sports facility for an afternoon of ice skating. On the way, there was busy chatter amongst the students as they discussed their previous experience or lack thereof.  I quickly learned that the group consisted of mostly beginners (me included) with a few experienced skaters mixed in.  Once at the Plex we each rented skates, laced up, bundled up and headed for the ice rink.  Some of the students jumped right in, with no hesitation at all and began gliding around.  Others were much more reserved and cautiously clung to the railing, while some only observed from the bleachers reluctant to even set foot on the ice.  Luckily the experienced skaters were more than happy to instruct and give basic tips for those who were skeptical.  After some warming up and test tries, we were all circulating around the rink having a great time.  There were some minor falls and a few crashes but they were quickly laughed off and forgotten.  It was so great to see the student interaction and how they instinctively began helping each other to succeed.  On the way home, despite being exhausted some of the students were already discussing when they could come back on their own for more practice.  Everyone agreed it was a blast!   

March 16th, 2012 Bowling Trip

Did you know?

Trip to the mall

and more...

ISS offers weekly trips to Walmart. |11|

Indian Student Organization

Recap 2011/2012 PANASA

Africa Night International Student Association

Barbecue; Colors of India Bangladesh Student Association

International Mother Language Day Association of Saudi Arabian Students

Presidents Convention; Saudi National Day Egyptian Student Association

Book Collection Vietnamese Student Association

Culture Collision Indian Cultural Exchange

Aag Ki Raat- Night of Fire



Indian Student Organization

The Indian Student Organization kick started the academic year as part of Welcome Week with a Bollywood dance party called Ice – Breaker on August 20th to welcome incoming students. The event attracted 150 students and included refreshments, DJ lights and a Bollywood DJ. The next major event Jashn- a celebration of India took place on November 5th and attracted 450 people from  USC as well as members of the Columbia community. As one of the biggest events held in the Russel House Ballroom, this sold-out show featured dance, music and a full-fledged Indian Dinner. This year, Jashn was especially popular because of collaboration with the Bangladesh Student Association( BSA) and the Nepalese Association of South Carolina. Spring semester showcased the festival of colors: Holi, held on March 3rd. This festival marks the beginning of Spring in India and was celebrated with food, drinks, tug-of war and colored powder. The event attracted around 80 students from ISO and the International Community.

by Roshni Rao

Pan-African Student Association (PANASA) by Charissa Ruth Everyone is seated; the room falls to darkness. Music, a beat starts to vibrate through the air, suddenly the stage is covered in moving figures decked out in glow paint. This was the start to Africa Night: 54 Voices One Motherland hosted by PANASA on February 17, 2012. Approximately 500 people watched a variety of performances including dancing, drumming, a fashion show, and poetry spanning from coast to coast. Afterwards, attendees were invited to enjoy a buffet of about 20 dishes including jollof rice, injera, and puff-puff. At the end the DJ continued playing music and dancing persisted until Russell House staff had to ask them to leave. PANASA’s first ever Africa Night was a great success! Working for five months to bring this event to USC, PANASA had several goals: to bring Americans and Africans together within USC and the Columbia community and to show Americans a more in-depth look at this continent than what is presented in the media. This event was free but donations were accepted for the Red Cross to aid those affected by the famine in East Africa. Participants included not only PANASA members but also a large group from Benedict college, drummers from the Wo’se group, and other members from the community.


Article from The Daily Gamecock, February 20,2012

Arabian Nights

Colors of India


LGBT Week Diversity Dialogue

BSA’s International Mother Language Day


by Md Jahangir Alam

angladesh Students Association (BSA) celebrated the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) at University of Carolina on 18th February, 2012. This celebration was a tribute to the martyrs of 1952 Bengali Language Movement. The day was first introduced by the United Nations as International Mother Language Day in the 30th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999. Now International Mother Language Day is celebrated worldwide to encourage the global multilingualism and cultural diversity, and to develop awareness of cultural diversity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue. In 1948, the leaders of the Pakistan declared that Urdu will be the only state language of Pakistan. Bangladesh was a part of the then Pakistan and people in this part speak Bangla. This declaration sparked in protest and strike. In February 1952, police shot fire to the protesters who were mainly the students of Dhaka University and killed several demonstrator named Salam, Rafiq, Barkat and others. This sparked more demonstration and in 1954 Bangla became as one of the state language of Pakistan. The IMLD program was full of music, poetry and dance. It was divided by two segments, with the serving of traditional Bangladeshi foods in between. In the first part, Bangladeshi students performed in their language and after the dinner students from different cultures performed in their languages. The Bangla part of the program was full of commemoration of the martyrs who sacrificed their life for the right of their native language. People with traditional dresses put flowers to the foot of the Shaheed Minar, a replica monument that was constructed at the place of the shooting in Dhaka University campus. Around 150 guests from different cultures enjoyed the program and expressed their compassion for the linguistic diversity around the world. Dr. Timothy Doupnik, Vice Provost, USC inaugurated the program and expressed his continuous support in this multicultural program.


Article from The Daily Gamecock

Association of Saudi Arabian Students by Bader Almandeel


June 22-24. 2012 ASAS 33rd Annual Presidents Convention The Association of Saudi Arabian Students at USC hosted the 33rd annual Saudi Club Presidents’ conference, an annual event sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Embassy and Cultural Mission, where the Saudi Ambassador, Cultural Attache, and the director of cultural affairs led the conference. There were over 200 Saudi student organizations across the U.S. and representatives from each organization attended the conference. This was the first time USC has hosted the conference and it was a great honor for ASAS to win the bid to host it. At the conference, the ambassador, along with the club presidents, discussed any and all of the issues they have been facing in their universities, cities, and states.


September 23, 2011 Saudi Arabian National Day The Association of Saudi Arabian Students shared their celebration of their National Day with the students, faculty & staff of USC when they held an exhibit in the Russell House Lobby to showcase their culture. The exhibit held 5 sections: History, Religion, Traditions, Women, and Cuisine. While playing traditional music and celebrating their joy of independence, the exhibit offered everything from henna tattoos to a photo booth to take pictures in traditional Saudi clothes to even Arabic calligraphy name writing. The event was also featured in the Daily Gamecock.

December 4th, 2011 Mayor’s Reception for Saudi Students USC’s President Pastides invited all the Saudi Arabian students studying at the university and at the English Program for Internationals (EPI) to a reception with the Mayor of Columbia, Steve Benjamin. After the mayor returned from his trip to Saudi Arabia, he was interested in meeting the students studying in Columbia. At the reception, he discussed his trip to Saudi, the people he met there, and Columbia’s efforts to attract Saudi investments.


by Frauke Becker

USC Egyptian Students Book Collection Initiative

egyptian student association

The Egyptian Student Association (ESA) at the University of South Carolina prides itself on campus involvement. This year, they competed in a soccer tournament against many other international student groups, such as the Chinese, Bangladesh or Turkish student associations. Though avid fans of soccer, ESA’s most prominent initiative is a book collection campaign. Members of the organization approach professors to donate old editions of textbooks, which would have inevitably been thrown out. Once collected, these books are sent to a collection center in the US, where other Egyptian organizations send donations, and later reach an Egyptian institu-

tion in need of textbooks. Until now ESA has implemented this project only in the department of Computer Engineering, since most of the members work there, but the hope is that other departments will become aware of this project and want to contribute. Mohamed Sharaf, the president of ESA, has been with his family in the US for three years and is pursuing his PhD in Computer Engineering. “We know how badly needed textbooks are in Egypt. Books in Egypt are very expensive. A textbook for $50 in the US would cost about 400 Egyptian Pound and with an average income of 1000 Egyptian Pound it is very difficult for the students to afford their books,” Sharaf said.


The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) is a student

organization that promotes and spreads the awareness of Vietnamese culture through social events and community service. On February 25, 2012, VSA hosted their very first showcase called, Culture Collision. VSA Culture Collision was a charity event with various performances of dance, singing, and skits that emphasized Vietnamese traditions. All proceeds from this showcase went to One Body Village Foundation, a charity that aids the children and women that have suffered from human trafficking in Vietnam.  Approximately $14,000 was raised that night! 2011-2012 was the most successful year thus far for VSA.  They have expanded their organization to interact with the student body as well as other student organizations. The president, Jennifer Nguyen, commented: “I was in love with my presidency year in VSA. We had game nights, holiday potlucks, and a Spring picnic. Culture Collision was our biggest event ever and we plan on keeping the showcase an annual tradition at USC.” by Jennifer Nguyen


Article from The Daily Gamecock, April 3, 2012

Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars Barbecue Party on April 7 , 2012

Employment Seminar Series by Gabriela Gillepsie

The Job Seminar is a program hosted by International Student Service Office and the Career Center aimed to help international students get more familiar with the job marketing and become better prepared for the beginning of career in US after graduate. The Career Center supplied materials, staff to facilitate the sessions, and room. The International office


administered all marketing efforts, and evaluation. ISS was also in charge of scheduling the 4th and newest additions to the series, the H1B Employment Workshop with the local attorney. This Seminar is consisted of four sessions: Resume and CV, Job Searching, Negotiation and Interview, H1B Employment Seminar.

by Sarah Langston

Exchange Students

As USC continues to expand internationally, the diversity of incoming exchange students is also increasing. In 2011-2012, USC welcomed students from three new exchange partner schools: the American University of Cairo (AUC), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and the University of Aruba. Three students from AUC studied at USC during the fall semester and took courses from a variety of academic departments. From CUHK, USC received 19 students as part of the International Business and Chinese Enterprise cohort degree program, which is designed to prepare students for the Chinese business environment. While at USC, three CUHK students received third place in the annual business plan competition sponsored by the Darla Moore School of Business, and several participated in summer business internships. Additionally, three students studying hospitality management from the University of Aruba attended USC for the fall semester, as part of the new exchange program through USC’s department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. The USC-Aruba exchange allows students to gain practical experience and global perspective in the hospitality field, a major industry in South Carolina. All incoming exchange students live on-campus and most are active in student organizations, field trips, and USC activities. These three new partner institutions are in addition to USC’s existing partner schools located in twenty different countries. Starting in 2012-2013, USC will also be expanding to host students from exchange partners ESSEC Business School (France), Fudan University (China), St. Gallen University (Switzerland), Tsinghua University (China), the University of Mannheim (Germany), and Yonsei University (South Korea).


orld Night is the biggest international event at USC. It is an annual event held by the International Student Services office along with the International Student Association. Many international organizations are represented either by traditional performances, having a table to represent their organization, or simply by attending in their traditional attire. World Night is a unique experience where you get to eat exotic Indian samosas and Middle Eastern baklavas, watch a traditional Japanese fisherman dance, and listen to beautiful songs performed in different languages and much more... This is definitely an event you wouldn’t want to miss.

NIGHT 2012

by Bader Almandeel

Article from The Daily Gamecock, March 2012

Article from the USC Times

“Thanksgiving is a great tradition, and it really means a lot for me and the other organizers to share the holiday with international students and scholars.� - Travis Weatherford

Sponsored Students


Artcile from the USC Times

Fulbright Potluck

Welcome Dinner at Al Amir

Sponsored Student Picnic


President’s Reception for International Students


he Annual President’s Reception for Internationals is the spotlight event for international students each fall semester. Every year, students are invited to the president’s home to meet with him and enjoy a few hours socializing with one another.  In Fall 2011, rain unfortunately forced the venue to be moved to The Coliseum but bad weather didn’t keep the students away!  There was a record number in attendance and as always, President Pastides, his wife Patricia, and the students enjoyed the reception very much. 

by Jody Pritt


Graduation Reception and Award Winner


his year, International Student Services held the first Graduation Reception for Internationals for all students graduating in the academic year 20112012. The reception was held in the Moore School’s, Lumpkin Auditorium. Students in attendance were encouraged to bring family and friends along with them for the celebration. Each student was recognized on stage by ISS and given a certificate by the star of the show, Cocky! The first Outstanding Graduating International Student award was given to Mr. Weizhi Xiong.  Weizhi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physics in spring 2012.  He was nominated not only for his excellent academic success, but also for his undergraduate research collaborations and his honorable ambition to assist other students in his program to be successful. We were proud to give him the first ever award of this kind and look forward to the reception next year.

by Jody Pritt


IEW kick-off event: The International Bazaar International Education Week took place November 14th-18th 2011. The kick-off event was again, this year, the fun International Bazaar on Greene Street, on Monday November 14th from 11am to 2pm. The Bazaar showcased a number of groups on campus, and each group had a table to promote their specific country, internationally-themed group/department, or student organization. There were creative displays on each table with pictures showcasing the students’ countries, as well as some traditional food. Various groups performed traditional dances. Some tables wrote student’s names in their language as a keepsake. Cocky made an extended appearance, to the crowd’s delight. Furthemore, the local WACH Fox TV station reported the event.

by Sylvain Chabra

Article from The Daily Gamecock, November 2012

International Ed |34|

ducation Week


Flash Mob by Susan Hochreiter

In fall 2011, the International Education Week committee collaborated with English Programs for Internationals to organize a “flash mob” to help promote International Education Week (IEW). The flash mob itself was held the week prior to IEW, and the video of the flash mob was shared with the USC community along with a schedule of events for the upcoming week. The event involved a choreographed dance to “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” by Shakira.  Participants included EPI students from several language classes, and Cocky even came out to join in the fun!  The students got together in the week leading up to the flash mob to learn the dance and to practice.  That day, students performed their dance on the Russell House patio, joining in a few people at a time until over 30 international students and Cocky were dancing in unison.  The flash mob was more than a promotional tool; it was also a fun team building activity for students in the EPI program, and a great public demonstration of USC’s internationalism and diversity.  The photograph shows two of the participants meeting Cocky after they were finished dancing.


by Susan Hochreiter

The International Photo Contest was an opportunity for students to submit their internationally themed photographs for prizes and to share with the University of South Carolina community. Photo contest winners were announced at the International Education week event “Around the World Trivia” on Monday, November 14th, 2011.  Entries were divided into two submission categories: international students (including EPI students) and study abroad returnees.  International students either submitted photos from their home countries or photos that demonstrated their experiences as international students here in the United States.  Study abroad returnees submitted photos from their time abroad.  All students were allowed to give their entry a title and provide a short description in order to help the audience better understand the experiences they were sharing.  In all, we received 62 entries.  Judges from across the International Programs department reviewed the photographs and rated each entry.  In each category, the two photographs with the highest scores received prizes.  Although not all entries could receive a prize, the images and descriptions each provided a unique story of how internationalization affects individual students and the USC community as a whole. The TOP photos were Returnees: 1st - Kevin Eleazer -“Stopping to Count Rupees” –India 2nd - Rebecca Conrad - “Alpine Trail” – Germany International students: 1st - Nirupam Aich - “The Lone Warrior” - Bangladesh 2nd - Yang Li - “Fly” – China


Fall 2011 Naveed Sadiq, Pakistan Naveed Sadiq is a Fulbright student pursuing a PhD in Health Services Policy and Management at Arnold School of Public Health. At the University, Naveed was selected to serve on the Deans Student Advisory Committee (DSAC), the purpose of which is to provide departmental representation to the ASPH administration in order to address student concerns, promote volunteer, social, and networking opportunities, and to aid in gaining and retaining top tier students. In addition to all of his involvement, Naveed enjoys participating in different cultural activities. “I love sharing views of my country with the Americans and of America with the Pakistani people. I feel like an ambassador to both the countries and bring the people from across the oceans closer to each other.” – Naveed Sadiq

International Student March 2012 Alice Valdetaro, Brazil Major: Mass Communications Home Country: Brazil Native Language: Portuguese Three words to describe Alice: Friendly, Passionate, Outgoing, Biggest Goal in life: Short Term– adopt a puppy! and take it for walks around the horseshoe Long Term– to be successful professionally Most proud of: My ability to adapt to new environments, people and situations. Favorite Place in Columbia: Hunter Gatherer Best kept hidden secret about USC: The River Walk is a beautiful place to go for a walk or run; not quite a secret, but you experience something different every visit.


“My mom and I have sacrificed a lot to invest in my academic career and I can’t wait to put all this hard work to the test.” - Alice Valdetaro

Alice is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she is a graduate student in the Masters of Mass Communications. She has a B.A. in Journalism and a B.S. in Psychology from USC Upstate. While at Upstate, Alice was inducted as member of the Gamma Beta Phi, Psi Chi and Phi Kappa Phi, honor societies. Always interested in the value of a global perspective, as an undergraduate, Alice conducted research to investigate the effects of previous exposure to international cultures on intercultural communication processes. The successful study was presented at multiple research conferences and received best poster award at the Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference in 2009. Alice currently works for ISS as the coordinator of the Thinking Globally program, which is a program devised to engage American and international students in an intercultural dialogue. In addition to being involved in cultural affairs she enjoys meeting new people and hanging out with her friends and co-workers.

April 2012 Omani Student Association The primary mission of the organization is to introduce the Omani culture to the University of South Carolina and to assist in the transition of new Omani students as they adjust to life in the US. The organization was founded in September 2011 and has since participated in varied campus activities such as: co-hosting events with other organizations, International Education Week, World Night 2012, and Islamic Awareness Week. Furthermore, OSA coordinated Omani Welcome Event, Omani National Day Celebration, Arabic Corner, and the most successful attracting over 300 attendees was Omani Cultural Night (OCN). In addition, OSA participated in various community service events organized by USC such as Service Saturday. A soccer tournament among the members of OSA was also on this year’s list of accomplishments! For the future, OSA plans to continue to achieve its mission by co-hosting events and creating more opportunities that showcase the Omani culture on our campus and USC community. “This Association has been helping new Omani students with the process of applying to universities, finding them apartments and helping them with all the essential needs.” - OSA member

and Organization Spotlight by Frauke Becker April 2012 Upoma Guha, Bangladesh Upoma, a dentist from Bangladesh, works as a Graduate Assistant with Dr. Anwar Merchant in a research study that focuses on the effect of periodontal microorganisms on the adverse pregnancy outcomes. The practical impact of the research is to detect the oral bacteria affecting pregnancy in order to propose new prevention methodologies and protect the pregnant mothers as well as the future babies from increased health risk. At the university, she serves as the Secretary of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council (DSAC). DSAC is a student-run organization for networking, collaborating, and promoting public health at the University of South Carolina. Her contribution to community service in South Carolina include volunteering for the South Carolina Dental Center; working with the Columbia’s Cooking program initiated to increase the awareness about healthy eating; and helping Cullen’s Archangel Rescue team to save the abandoned animals across the state. She enjoys working closely with the International Student Services as a Thinking Globally Ambassador. She actively participates in cultural events around campus including performing songs and hosting “World Night,” the biggest cultural event of the year.

Major: Epidemiology Home Country: Bangladesh Native Language: Bengali Three words to describe Upoma: Innovative, Enthusiastic, Animal-Lover Biggest Goal in life: Biggest goal is to make a difference in the dental health services in the community. Most proud of: Proud of being able to connect with people across the nations and make most of my dreams come true irrespective of the adversities I face. Favorite Place in Columbia: The Riverfront Park Best kept hidden secret about USC: The swimming pool at Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center is the best place to make myself relaxed. The spa and sauna helps me to bring out all the fatigue and centralize the mind for my upcoming works.


Bringing the world to Your classroom

Thinking Globally

Sultan Al-Masroori (Oman) explains the meaning behind the colors of the Omani flag. AmyYang (Taiwan) introduces and challenges students to try one of her favorite foods in Taiwan: Century Egg (preserved duck egg) or, as the students named it, “stinky black egg.�

by Alice Valdetaro


hinking Globally (TG) is a program developed and administered by the International Student Services office that strives to engage students in intercultural dialogues with international members of the USC community. Our goal is to spark students’ curiosity and prepare them for a global society.

Thinking Globally was established in 2003, with a mission to instill cultural sensitivity; promote diversity awareness and appreciation; and to educate students about the values of opportunities to engage in international experiences both locally and abroad. This program has grown into a leadership development opportunity for international students, while serving as a cultural resource to the community. Thinking Globally follows the academic calendar and is divided into two main parts, fall and spring. During fall semester TG ambassadors focus on presenting to USC freshman students enrolled in University 101 seminar classes. During the spring we take to the streets, and focus on our local community. Through this outreach, USC international students interact with young students from elementary to high schools in the greater Columbia area.



*photo courtesy of Nirupam Aich International Day at St. Andrews middle schools – Naveed Sadiq (Pakistan) and Upoma Guha (Bangladesh) shared cultural presentations with the students.

n the past year, TG ambassadors reached approximately 860 USC freshman students and over 1,000 students from elementary, middle and high schools in the Richland 1 district. This program impacts the constituents it serves as much as the volunteers who make it happen. We are proud to see so many of our international students refine their public speaking skills and develop into admirable ambassadors to USC and their home countries. We hope to continue to grow, promote intercultural dialogues, and bring diversity appreciation to the lives of many students. Collaborations with more schools and businesses in the community are in the works to help us reach our greater goal: to prepare students for an ever changing interconnected world.

Richland 1 schools served in Spring 2012: Dreher High School Keenan High School Forest Heights Elementary St. Andrews Middle School Chapin High School

Reading Across America Day at Forest Heights Elementary – ten of our international students were invited to read Dr. Seuss books to the kids on the day that celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday.


Regional Campus Visits by Gabriela Gillespie & Casey Corcoran

When & Where: USC Lancaster, February 29 & USC Salkehatchie, February 2 Number in attendance: ISS staff & current international students on-campus For years the ISS office has visited their regional campuses, and the staff hopes to build on this tradition to include more visits and to more campuses. This is an opportunity for international students to ask questions, learn about the office’s services, and get to know the ISS staff! The ISS staff also hopes to bridge the communication gap and increase collaboration among the campuses, from orientation to cultural programming activities. In the spring ISS had the opportunity to share a delicious meal made by Dr. Brian Lai and the soccer athletes at Salkehatchie. They also came to the USC-Columbia campus for World Night; what a treat! At USC-Lancaster ISS staff met with one of the tennis players that was looking for information on how to transfer to a four-year institution. The staff at Lancaster also afforded an opportunity to speak with coaches and international student advocates to discuss current issues, as well as recruitment opportunities. ISS can’t wait to come back next semester!


USC Salkehatchie only has about

ing, The Country Cupboard Deli at Barnwell provided all of the food. All 5 participants were very thankful, and had a great time! On March 23rd, 10 members of the USC Salkethatchie International Student Organization attended the 13th annual World Night at USC Columbia. For some of the members, it was their first time being on the Columbia main campus. Earlier in the afternoon, Dr. Lai gave all the partici¬pants a highlight campus tour. Seven members of USC Salkehatchie’s ISO graduated this past May. Several attended the Graduating International Student Reception held in Columbia on May 3rd to celebrate the huge accomplishments of the students and all of their hard work. Outside of the International Student Organization, students were encouraged to participate in events hosted by USC Salkehatchie’s Globalization Committee and local Lowcountry International Society as well. On September 22, 6 students shared their experience in an International Student Panel Discussion, part of USC Salkehatchie International Festival, organized by Globalization Committee. Two members volunteered in

1300 students in total. However, because of their athletic programs, every year they attract many international students. Since 2009, Dr. Wei-Kai Lai has been in charge of both the Salkehatchie international students, as well as their International Student Organization. Salkehatchie’s International Student Organization consistently has somewhere between 10 and 15 active members. During the 2011-2012 academic year, they had 14 students from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, UK, and Venezuela. Each semester, two lunch meetings are usually held in addition to several outdoor events. The Fall 2011 meeting was held during September, and the Spring 2012 meeting was held in February. During the February meeting, the staff of International Student Service came to visit. To welcome the guests, the International Student Organization prepared an international feast for lunch. Amazingly, all the dishes were cooked by the students and Dr. Lai! Earlier in the school year, a potluck was held in November at Dr. Lai’s house. The following day, they had a field trip to St. Helena to celebrate Heritage Day. During Thanksgiving break, a Thanksgiving dinner was hosted for those students who did not get to go home for the break. This way, students International Food and Arts Festival on October 29 in Walwere able to experience a holiday atmosphere during this terboro, sponsored by Lowcountry International Society. most authentic American holiday. This past Thanksgivby Wei-Kai Lai


There are many outreach programs outside of USC that offer events for students. Here is Amy’s first hand account of the Friday Lunch with Midtown Church...

Midtown Church welcomes students from all around the world and to get to know the students further, they started the Friday International Lunch. This is an opportunity for Midtown Church to serve internationals and help them make friends while they are here. The lunch happens every Friday with sports, dessert, and lots of food on the horseshoe. In case of rain, they move the lunch to the third floor of Russell House. More internationals need to know about this!

Photo courtesy of Hongying Du

by Amy Yang

The University of South Carolina was selected to be a host institution for the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) during the 2012 spring semester. Created and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the JFDP Program provides professional development to talented junior university faculty members from Eurasia and Southeast Europe.   Ivana Corbic, this year’s JFDP scholar is from Belgrade, Serbia. Ms. Corbic is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Belgrade. Her research interests include foreign language instruction and technology; academic and creative writing; and critical thinking. International Programs in collaboration with other academic departments has administered the program at South Carolina for the last six years, welcoming scholars from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. |44|

by Frauke Becker

University Hosts Scholar

by Sylvain Chabra

Global Voice

The staff at International Student Services does its best to listen to the concerns and ideas of international students. This is why we asked for feedback again this year from the Global Voice advisory committee. The mission of Global Voice is to provide a platform for International Students at the University to voice their opinions, needs, and ideas to promote campus change that embraces internationalization efforts in the university community. Many of the changes that have occurred in the last year, such as the redesign of our website, regular shuttle buses to Wal-Mart, and more frequent off-campus trips, are all the direct result of student feedback. The students selected represented the voice of the entire international student body. This was a year-long program with one meeting in the fall and one meeting in the spring. The first Global Voice meeting was held on Tuesday November 15th at 5:00pm in Byrnes 704. Among the topics mentioned were the new format for Orientation, student development and leadership opportunities, advising, and programming. The second Global Voice meeting was held on Tuesday April 10th at 5:00pm in Byrnes 704. The committee discussed prayer space availability for Muslim students, some programming ideas, and safety issues. Global Voice is a great way for students to let their voice be heard. The upcoming academic year will see a change in representation. All international student organizations will elect a representative to Global Voice and monthly meetings will enable regular feedback to International Student Services.

|45| Photo courtesy of Bader Almandeel

Friends of International Scholarship Fund by Sylvain Chabra

Spring 2012 marked the first year when the University of South Carolina awarded the Friends of International Scholarships to outstanding international students. Thanks to the generosity of donors and their commitment to International Education at the University of South Carolina, three scholarships were awarded for the spring of 2012 to honor deserving students for their academic efforts and community involvement. Among the first round of recipients was a stellar student who was able to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Hospital|46|

ity Management; another student was able to get off the ground her Doctoral program in Counselor Education, and a third student is succeeding in his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. One recipient commented enthusiastically “I am so thankful for the support and encourage everyone who is able to, to invest in the success story of another international student while they are trying to achieve their dream.” We are currently welcoming scholarship contributions from donors for upcoming semesters.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Branton

This fund was established by international alumni of the University who understand the unique needs of international students. The goal is to ensure that students, despite financial hardships, are able to complete their degrees at USC. These students, upon graduation, will become members of a generous international alumni community who can assist the next generation of international Gamecocks. A scholarship award of $250 results in a tuition reduction valued at $4,500 or more for a semester of scholarship support.

The Friends of Internationals Scholarship has provided and will continue to provide the critical support necessary for outstanding students who are in need to succeed. As one student stated: “Thanks to the spring 2012 Friends of Internationals Scholarship, I have completed the first year of my doctoral program. As an International student with no graduate assistantship, the award really means a lot to me. It helped me a lot financially. It was awarded at the right time in my life as a student at University of South Carolina, Columbia.� |47|


he Columbia Council for Internationals is a local, non-profit organization that aims to help international students in the Columbia Community. Volunteers help with picking up new students at the airport. Students are very apDid you preciative of that service, since it gives them a first experience of the Southern Hospitality. know? CCFI also coordinates the Furniture Loan Program, which helps dozens of students every CCFI hosts a lunch year by picking up, storing or delivering many things from a desk lamp to a bed. Some memat South Quad bers even stored furniture in their own garages while new storing space was being located! every Friday CCFI organizes weekly international lunch hours on Fridays during the academic year. Those are very popular and are a great way to make friends! Thanks to donations and volunteers, the lunches are always a success and a fun way to end the week. Furthermore, CCFI organizes a Welcome Reception every August at the Russell House Ballroom, providing favorite local fares for new students to try. It is another great way to show Southern Hospitality and enable socializing. Another reception was organized in the spring, to give an opportunity to international students to get together with CCFI members, have some cookies and refreshing beverages and enjoy a Treasure Hunt on the State House Grounds. Mayor Benjamin was the guest speaker and emphasized the City of Columbia’s goal to reach out to the World and welcome international talents. CCFI is a tremendous organization, whose services to Internationals are countless. They definitely contribute to making the Columbia Community so welcoming to Internationals.

Columbia Council for Internationals by Sylvain Chabra

CCFI Spring Reception

The International House at Maxcy


by Sylvain Chabra

cademic year 2011-2012 marked a big change in the Carolina Global Community. This living learning community which used to be located in the South Quad moved to the Maxcy Residence Hall in the fall of 2011. The space available is considerably larger. The Spanish House joined the community, soon to be joined by the French House. The Carolina Global Community was renamed International House at Maxcy College. Dr. Lee Walker was chosen as faculty principal to lead the community and coordinate joint efforts from hall student leadership, Housing, International Student Services and other campus partners in this exciting development. Maxcy is undergoing renovations during the summer of 2012 and is scheduled to reopen for the fall of 2012 with nice, updated meeting spaces, a demonstration kitchen and other amenities. Already the updated CGC has brought in a lot of fun and learning over this past academic year. Lizzy Cantor, the Graduate Assistant for Maxcy, worked in collaboration with Jen Smith, Graduate Assistant for International Student Services, to offer wonderful programming for Maxcy Residents. Matching a monthly national or regional theme (The Middle-East, Germany, India, etc.), Maxcy offered regular cooking demonstrations, dance classes, and presentations to its residents. Other events such as the International Photo Gallery opening or the Language Speed Dating event were great opportunities to socialize while learning. Residents were given “passports” to be stamped at events or to encourage them to seek out international experiences on campus (i.e. look into studying abroad or attend Int’l Student organizations events). The year ended with a Southern BBQ party to wrap up a journey around the World… More international residents should join the hall in August and the upcoming academic year should bring more of these fun events. A local African drum group should be meeting monthly in Maxcy, also the CCFI weekly lunches will take place in Maxcy, and more social and academic programming will keep contributing to the success of the IHMC. |49|

Stay Connected!

“University of South Carolina Internationals: Staying Connected”



International Student Services would like to thank Frauke Becker for all of her hard work on this yearbook. It would not have been possible without her creativity, talent, and attention to detail. Leigh Eleazer, Administrative Assistant at ISS, collaborated with Frauke on editing the articles. Hard work and determination paid off to create the first ever ISS Yearbook – “The International”!

If you have an idea for a story or a specific topic that should be covered, let us know by emailing!

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

The International Yearbook, 11/12  

International highlights of the 2011-2012 school year at the University of South Carolina.

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