UA Grads, Undergrads Welcome International Students

Members of the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council with the assistance of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, or ASUA, completed a three-day pickup of incoming University of Arizona international students.

The council, or GPSC, led the service August 4-6, welcoming international students at the Tucson International Airport and driving them safely to campus.

Many GPSC representatives have traveled, so we thought: "What do people need when they first come to Tucson?" The answer seemed obvious. They need water, sun tan lotion and a hat. We weren't able to get them a hat this year but we have a cool T-shirt with GPSC and ASUA's logo.

More than 30 students from GPSC, ASUA and International Student Programming Services volunteered to help new students. Student Affairs, the Dean of Students Office Campus Health, the UA Bookstore, and the Motor Pool helped make the event possible. And each student received a care package of water, sun tan lotion, a T-shirt and a map.

GPSC chose the dates so students could get to their orientations on time and GPSC and ASUA members were able to pick up about 100 students arriving in Tucson. Students were picked in UA Motor Pool white mini vans with red and blue trim that read, "State of Arizona For Official Use Only."

The idea to pick up incoming international students has long been a GPSC idea.

Robert Jacobi, GPSC's assembly chair, wanted to do this a few years ago but it took awhile for us to coordinate it.

When GPSC's Emily Monken came on board, she was able to take a good idea and run with it. Her organization of this event in such a short-time was incredible.

We were happy to lead the effort with campus partners for a service we would like to do going forward. All of the international students were super appreciative. One student summed it by saying, "I don't know what I would have done without you."

Zachary Brooks, the GPSC president, also is a doctoral student in the UA's Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program.