Alumni Association brings international students into Bearcat family
What’s up with American football?
That’s a popular sentiment among UC’s international students who feel left behind as they watch crowds of people stream into Nippert Stadium. To many who have grown up in foreign lands, the game is confusing, and they don’t understand why American students cherish football more than futbol (which looks like soccer to us).
To help, the UC Alumni Association hosts Football 101 at a home game each fall, where international students can appreciate the whole experience — tailgating under a tent beside Myers Alumni Center, attending a session explaining basic college football rules and strategy, learning UC’s trademark cheers, then using them while watching a game. About 100 students participated in the 2012 event.
Football 101 is one of the key ways the UCAA reaches out to international students at UC to help bring them into the Bearcat family.
This is pertinent because six of every 100 UC students have come from outside the U.S., and that percentage is rising. After graduation, some will remain in the states to begin their careers, while others will return to their native countries. Nevertheless, all are lifelong Bearcats.
International students live far from loved ones and often have to cope with language barriers and significant cultural differences. UC works hard to bridge that divide.
“A successful, comprehensive approach to international enrollment management includes all aspects — from recruiting and admissions to retention and graduation,” said Ron Cushing, A&S ’88, M (A&S) ’90, director of UC International Services. “This holistic approach includes campus stakeholders like the UC Alumni Association.
“Co-curricular programs engage international students with American students and the greater university community. While helping them understand American culture, these programs are critical to their success and willingness to remain engaged with UC following graduation.”
Because the UCAA works hard to make sure every UC living alumnus feels part of the same family, alumni connections are flourishing around the world. To ensure those ends, the association plans increasingly popular events for international students each year.