Freshman and international student Johnny Zhu couldn’t help but laugh at the mention of new student orientation. As the incoming class of 2025 spent the day moving boxes, unpacking dorms and meeting roommates, some international students in the Colonnades and Danieley neighborhoods, like Zhu, were already ahead.
Over the course of three days, international students at Elon University participated in an information-packed orientation, highlighting the adjustment students will make living in the U.S. and information regarding insurance and visas.
“I don’t want to be cliche and say the people are good but, the people are good,” Zhu said. “The [International Student] program is good, but a little tiring.”
The fast-paced program left many students like Zhu and sophomore Junzhi Meng exhausted. Along with adapting to a new country, the pressure of meeting new people overwhelmed some.
“There are so many names I need to remember,” Meng said. “Not only their names, not only the building names, but also their campus address.”
Sophomore Manaka Furusho said jet lag contributed to the lack of energy some students were showing, but she didn’t mind the three-day information sessions.
“Yesterday was kind of packed,” Furusho said. ”This was kind of a perfect schedule for me, I wasn’t jet lagged. I was just very nervous”.
Meng, unlike Furusho, said she dislikes the structure of this year’s orientation. She said she believes the activities should be stretched over a few more days to allow international students the opportunity to adjust and rest. Some students hope to see a more spread out program next year that would create more time for students to mingle with one another.
Despite the elaborate programming and long days, many students are thankful for the opportunity to meet new friends and learn about their new home.
“My favorite part is when I talk to someone,” Furusho said. “I was nervous at first and overwhelmed, but when you talk to someone, they talk to you. They say ‘I’m so happy to meet you’ and that made me feel better.”