The University has expanded its programmatic support for international students through an extended pre-orientation program and the onboarding of new staff members as it works to achieve need-blind international admissions by the class of 2029.
International Orientation — a five-day pre-orientation program hosted by the Global Brown Center for International Students —was lengthened by a day this school year, The Herald previously reported.
Held from Aug. 25 to Aug. 29, IO was extended to incorporate the inaugural International Identity Empowerment Conference, which invited students to “know the different identities around campus and how they relate to the international experience,” according to Claire Park ’24, senior IMP Coordinator.
The University's international advising team hosted “Dollars and Directions” sessions during IO, an Academic Resilience @ Brown workshop series throughout September and three focus groups last semester that aimed to further grasp the undergraduate international student experience at Brown.
Insights gathered from the focus groups led to two new outreach initiatives to be implemented next spring: a newsletter and a podcast that centers storytelling and features “international students and international-identifying staff and faculty members,” Associate Dean of the College for International Students Chia-Ying Pan previously told The Herald.
GBC also aims to include “more intentional programs for graduate international students” and a speaker series that welcomes “scholars and advocates to campus” for engaged learning experiences, Program Director Andrew Heald previously wrote in an email to The Herald.
New professional staff
GBC also brought on two new staff members this semester: Program Coordinator Syrina Robinson, who joined the center staff in August, and Assistant Director Ruby Cheng, who came to campus in May and coordinated the IO Identity Conference, The Herald previously reported.
Hailing from Inner Mongolia and Colorado, Cheng — who was once an international student herself — has a doctorate in education and leadership for educational equity and has assumed numerous leadership positions in “international education professional organizations” nationally and globally, she previously told The Herald.
Robinson, who’s from Jamaica, England and Southern California, has been involved with Brown through pre-college programs since 2019, The Herald previously reported. She also served as an international graduate student peer mentor during her Master’s program at Claremont Graduate University.
The international student advising team has also expanded over the past year to welcome two new staff members: International Student Program Manager Emily Collins Garcia and International Student Academic Advisor Jason Serrano, The Herald previously reported.
The two join Pan in addressing topics such as A-level and International Baccalaureate exam results, U.S. educational and banking systems, budgeting and health care.
Kathy Wang is a University News editor who oversees the student government and international student life beats. She is a junior from Beijing, China studying Nonfiction Writing and Comparative Literature. Growing up, she has changed her English name at least five times.