You may have read Ji Su’s blog about the Claremont Colleges International banquet. Here’s a guest blog from the folks at the International Place.
When the World Comes to Claremont….It Comes to I-Place!
International Place or “I-Place”, as we like to call it, provides programs and services to more than 900 international students and scholars who have come to The Claremont Colleges from over 75 different countries. I-Place is an on-campus center where international and U.S. students from all seven of The Colleges are able to share experiences and have some fun. Actually, lots of fun!
It all starts with the New International Student and Scholar Orientation where new students not only learn about the ins and outs of studying in the U.S., but also spend a day at Newport Beach, rock out at a talent show starring fellow international students, and spend time with their host families.
Throughout the year I-Place hosts a variety of events, from our bi-weekly Intercultural Discussion Group (I-Group) where students from around the world share their college experiences over lunch, to daytrips and overnight trips around Southern California and beyond. Favorite destinations include Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and more. Our occasional Sunday Suppers (including our annual homemade spaghetti dinner) are legendary. Students, scholars, host families, faculty and staff from The Colleges, gather to enjoy an informal dinner, reunite with old friends, and make new friends. I-Place organizes the International Banquet during the fall semester and a HUGE International Festival in the spring. Both of these events give students from around the world the chance to share their cultures and cuisines with each other and the local community. All of our activities are open to all students at The Claremont Colleges, regardless of what country your passport comes from. In fact, I-Place is the perfect place for U.S. students and international students to get to know each other.
Though we have lots of fun, we are also here to assist students adjust to life and college in the U.S., and to help them find a new sense of what it means to feel “at home”. I-Place workshops and information sessions on health care, immigration issues, taxes, and employment, help students stay healthy, maintain legal presence in the U.S., and learn about how to legally work in the U.S.
International Place staff is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., for walk-in and scheduled appointments. We are a resource for all students. Whether you are experiencing culture shock and want to talk about it, or need advice pertaining to your immigration status, or are interested in planning a Lunar New Year Celebration, or are just desperate to meet someone from Botswana, I-Place can help! We also have many student leaders (Orientation Leaders) at International Place who look forward to helping their fellow students take full advantage of all that Claremont has to offer.