Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome to Wal-Mart!

This fall, I was given the opportunity to help with orientation for the international students who are coming into PC this year to study. Today has been my first day where I've actually done anything, but already it has been fascinating.

My duty today was to help Liz, one of the directors in the Office of International Programs (aka OIP), help pick up a big group of students from the airport. I drove a minivan and she drove a van. 

We drove to the Greenville-Spartanburg airport and parked. She went in and got the students while I guarded the vans (apparently, the security guards can be mean and we were just pulled up in temporary parking). Then Liz brought out the students and she had them put their stuff in the minivan. I was kind of sad when I saw the seats get loaded up with stuff. However, the front seat was not taken and a French girl ended up riding with me.

She was really nice and will be studying here for a year. She's a business major and is interested in doing something with sports. We talked for a while and then I let her keep to her thoughts. I remember how overwhelming and hard it is to come into a new country and try to speak the language.

We drove the students to Wal-Mart before heading to PC so they could pick up bedding for their rooms and whatever other items they'd need that night. I helped direct them around Wal-Mart and suggested items that they might like. I kept reflecting back to when I first got in Spain and seeing all sorts of different things. Wal-Mart was overwhelming for me coming back from Europe, but I can't imagine what it must be like going into it for the first time. 

One thing Liz and I had never thought about was "why are single beds called twin beds?" Some of the international students were confused by the name, thinking we were telling them to buy really big sheets when they read online that the beds were single sized. It's funny the things you don't think about.

After Wal-Mart, we took them back to PC and directed them to their respective dorms. Most of them are in the Carol International House (CIH), but some others are in the other dorms with full time PC students. 

The actual orientation stuff starts happening tomorrow. I'm really excited about us going to Frankie's Fun Park in Greenville. It has laser tag and go carts! 

Well, that's what I have so far! More to come later. 

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