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Home away from home

Carlos Cortez
Attendees listen to Shadi Davanloo, Student Success coach, and Luis Garcia from the Success Coach department.

Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa hosted the Home Away From Home event on Oct. 15 at North Lake Campus. International students seeking information on various services found this event to be particularly useful.

A basic orientation is provided to international students, so the Honor’s Society recognized the need for a more thorough guidance. They aimed to help students navigate the multitude of services available both on and off-campus.

In preparation for the event, the chapter’s officers: Nomvuyo Makhathini, Nicole Aveiga, Shaylan Patel, Funminiyi Oluwaniyi, Darlene Ramirez, Elie Bossombo and Madeeha Hassim, all contacted various campus departments and community partners to participate. On-campus services included Success Coaching, Career and Transfer Services, Counseling, Learning Commons and the Student Care Network.

Furthermore, the chapter acknowledged the financial needs of international students, so they invited Frost Bank to talk to students about opening bank accounts, general banking information, credit building and more.

On the day of the event, welcoming representatives were stationed at organized tables, ready to discuss various aspects of student life. The attendees moved through the venue at their own pace, stopping at each table to receive personalized information on the services and resources available.

Students learned about various topics such as obtaining a driver’s license and social security card, jobs, transferring to universities, housing assistance, as well as physical and mental health resources.

They received important information on scholarships, emergency funds, and transportation options to help them navigate student life.

International students were also provided with North Lake Campus merchandise, snacks, and food to make them feel welcomed.

The Alpha Zeta Eta team administered surveys before and after the event to help enhance similar future events based on student feedback. The team hopes to scale the project to serve international students at all seven Dallas College campuses.

Students reported feeling more knowledgeable, supported, and connected after attending. Many said they now have the tools and understanding to thrive in their US education thanks to this event’s resources and support. The event helped international students adjust to American life and feel welcomed.

The chapter put in considerable effort and coordination to organize the multifaceted event. They remained committed to ensuring international students’ transition is as smooth and supported as possible through this impactful project.

Moving forward, Alpha Zeta Eta hopes to make this event an annual tradition to help numerous international students feel at home on campus.

Their commitment has set a standard for supporting international students through thoughtful, holistic programming tailored to their needs.

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