Welcome Team increases international student satisfaction at Nebraska

Jan 31, 2021 9:16:00 PM

The International Student Barometer, a global benchmark of the international student experience, reports in its latest study that the percentage of international students who are satisfied with the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln’s point-of-arrival experience has grown from 69% to 92% in just four years.

This was since 2015 when the International Student Welcome Team was organised. This year’s team is comprised of 29 international student mentors from 10 countries speaking 15 different languages. The team greeted 115 of the 270 incoming international students at the Lincoln airport between the August 18-20 arrival dates for the Fall 2019 intake.

The high rating is also reflected in the students’ feedback during the orientation where 94.6% of international students either agreed or strongly agreed to feeling welcomed when arriving in Lincoln and 96.5% were either very satisfied or satisfied with the university’s formal welcome.

Aside from meeting the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln’s incoming students at the Lincoln airport, the ISW team shuttles them to campus and assists them in getting to their hotel or off-campus accommodation.

Shridula Hegde, who arrived from India in 2016, has this to say: “The university greeting team was amazing and comforting. It was the perfect way to start my Nebraska experience.”  She adds that the transition to college life can be difficult especially for international students who are so far from the comforts of home and family. “I know first-hand how big of an impact Nebraska’s welcome and orientation programs can have on students. I can’t think of anything more awesome than helping new students feel as welcomed as I did when I arrived in Nebraska,” adds Shridula who is now an International Student Welcome team mentor herself.

Incoming Freshman Computer Science Simon Chen from China is happy with his welcome experience. “I’ve travelled for 22 hours to get here and it really means a lot that the University was here to meet us.  I like that we do not have to worry about how we are going to get to campus. It will help me focus on school,” he says.

Incoming Sociology Major Katie Brooks from Australia shares her own experience. “It was a long flight – I left at 9 a.m. yesterday and it’s now noon tomorrow back home. Getting to Omaha would have been much easier. But knowing that I could land here and not worry about getting to campus was worth the extra time. This welcome has been even better than I expected.”

This article was first published on the UNL website.