As Oxford graduates and international students, the three of us, Amy Yie, Jungmin Oh, and Mijeong Myung, were invited to serve as consultants to Oxford College this past summer. As one of Emory's nine academic divisions, Oxford offers a small-campus setting 38 miles east of Atlanta for students in their freshman and sophomore years. Oxford’s international student population more than doubled in size in 2009. We applied our Goizueta presentation, consulting, and research skills to developing a program to help transition incoming international students to the Oxford College community and the American university system in general.
Based on best practices from similar academic institutions, academic research, and personal experiences, as a consulting team, we created a set of recommendations, including creating a staff position to serve as the “go-to-person” for all international student affairs. In addition, we recommended implementing various programs to encourage greater interaction between the international student community and the general student body. Through these initiatives, we believe that the international students will not only gain fluency in the English language, but also feel more connected to the American culture. An example of this type of program is a mentorship program between sophomores and incoming international freshmen. The freshmen will be able to look to their mentors for advice while the sophomores will gain a greater world understanding through their international mentees.
Despite other commitments as Goizueta students, we were passionate about the project and delighted to gain real-world experience. As students from cross-cultural backgrounds, we are committed to helping Oxford develop the best program for welcoming and supporting the international student body.
Oxford’s Dean of Campus Life, Joe Moon, and the Director for Academic Services, Karen Martucci, endorsed our recommendations and have plans to implement them at Oxford College. Considering the surge of international students across U.S. universities, the recommendations have the potential of adoption at other schools as well. All of us agree that it was a great opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills obtained in class to an actual problem in the real world. Moreover, the project had special meaning because it enabled us to utilize our international experience and contribute to the Emory community. Lastly, we were able to experience the creative and dynamic nature of consulting, where each problem requires a unique perspective, approach, and solution.
Jingjing "Amy" Yie, Jungmin Oh, and Mijeong Myung, BBA 11