Operation Move-In begins in earnest on Wednesday as most Baylor freshmen begin arriving for the fall semester, but some volunteers pitched in a few days early to help a select group of new students from all over the world settle in earlier this week. (See photo gallery here.)
When official numbers are reported later this fall, Baylor expects to have nearly 500 international students enrolled from almost 70 countries. Last year, the top 10 home countries for international Bears were China, South Korea, Nigeria, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Japan, Venezuela and Colombia.
Baylor recognizes that even more than most freshmen, these students could use some extra help getting acclimated to their new home. That’s why volunteers (both fellow students and area church members) pitch in to not only pick up these students at the airport and transport them to their dorms or apartments around campus, but also to help them navigate immigration checks and to take them out shopping for groceries or other supplies. Many Waco restaurants even contribute free or discounted menu items to feed the international students for a few days before school starts.
And the extra attention doesn’t end there. President Ken Starr will host a dinner later this month at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center to welcome the furthest-traveling Bears to campus, and the Center for International Education will coordinate events throughout the semester that bring international and American students together for sporting events, trips to other cities and more.
Sic ’em, international students and those who help them feel at home at Baylor!