The University of Dallas has a vast international student population, especially in the graduate student programs.The International Student Association for graduate students, intended to bring international and domestic students together, is set to take off soon.
Sherri Collier, the advisor to the club, stated that it is a graduate student club that is supported by the Gupta College of Business. There is no application as it is a club and not a fraternity, so anyone can join. The club hasn’t had any regular meetings yet but they plan to host events a couple of times each semester.
Collier said, “We are currently planning a Friendsgiving Event for Friday, November 18th and a World Diversity Month Fashion Show in April!”
Anette Elertson-Dillion, an international graduate student studying marketing, reported that she understands how much the international student community needs this organization. “I would love to join and be part of the leadership of the International Student Association,” she said.
Manuella Logbo, an international graduate student studying business analytics, added, “So far, I have not heard much and what all it entails.”
The program has a vacant amount of potential to bring all walks of life together, domestic and international. When asked if they felt the international community was close knit, Elertson-Dillion stated: “I believe the international student community has an enormous potential to be close-knit; however, now, I do not think it is as close as it could be. Being in a new country, at a new school, and around new people can often be extremely challenging and intimidating.”
Logbo added: “So far, I do not think that is the case at the University of Dallas. It might possibly be because I’m a new student, and I have not had a chance to meet said community. However, in general, the international student community tends to be pretty close knit.”
Logbo is from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and attended an undergraduate university with 60,000 students. She chose UD’s Business Analytics program because “it was smaller and professors could add more one-on-one. … It is safe to say that all walks of life essentially roam around campus trying to get the best out of their experience and education.”
Elertson-Dillion, a marketing student from Norway, chose UD because “of the diversity of opportunities and the number of international students attending UD each semester.”
Meeting students from all over the world would allow her to expand her network. Additionally, the quality of the professors at UD was a draw to her. Despite only being in her first semester, she has already met prominent leaders. Like Elertson-Dillion, Logbo continues to thrive and network at UD.
Both women believe the association has potential to be what they need to feel connected and included on campus. I myself definitely think the association will be able to unite the international and domestic students and provide a way for international students to feel at home. Particularly at the graduate level due to the work-life balance being hard to manage, a social life seems obsolete at times. If you or someone you know is interested in joining you can visit the International Student Association site via the University of Dallas website, and fill out an interest form.