Monday, August 18, 2014

International Students at UNO Enjoy Special Welcome

Three students dining at "The Galley," a popular dining hall at the University of New Orleans, on Friday marveled over lunch that they had to travel all the way to New Orleans to meet one another, although they come from the same town in Northern India. Fresh off a campus tour, the three men from the town of Hyderabad said that they are already planning cricket matches and serving up curry from their new apartment building in Gentilly. Having spent the last two weeks exploring the campus and enjoyed the day's welcome orientation, they are looking forward to trying New Orleans cuisine and hearing jazz on Frenchmen Street, they said.

"It's scenic," said Teja Dogibarthi, 23, nodding toward Lake Pontchartrain. "It's beautiful in the evening time and the skies are clear at night."

Dogibarthi and his new friends – 21-year-old Raghu Rudraraju and 24-year-old Shiva Kotaru -- have never previously visited the U.S. and yet they travelled more than 9,000 miles from their hometown to spend the next two years studying at UNO, the graduate students aid. Each is working to receive a Master's degree in Computer Science and for the next year, New Orleans will be their home.

On Friday, the three men participated in a special welcome for international students, who make up more than eight percent of the UNO community. More than 600 students at UNO hail from outside the U.S. and they represent more than 90 countries, according to the UNO Office of Enrollment Services and Student Affairs,.

"I arrived yesterday at 3 a.m.," said a sleepy Anna Danzer, 20, who lunched with fellow Austrian Maria Ringer, 21. The two women are both undergraduate students at the University of Innsbruck, which has a partnership with UNO that allows students to study abroad on both campuses.

Danzer, who will be studying Film as Literary Art and New Orleans Literature, among other courses this fall, is interested in joining the University's sailing club, she said.

Ringer, who will study English literature, is hoping to join one of the University choirs.

Both women will live with Americans in Privateer Place, private housing on the north side of campus.

"We wanted to speak English," Danzer said. "If you speak German all the time, why be here?"

Having worked for two years for HCL Technologies, a mobile cybergame computing company in Northern India, Dogibarthi said. He came to UNO to advance his career and moneymaking opportunities in one of the nation's best computer science departments.

The UNO Department of Computer Science continually achieves top grants, boasts a number of leading faculty and recently received recognition as an Academic Center of Excellence from the U.S. National Security Agency.

The department's outstanding reputation and a Privateer First-Year Scholarship helped to seal the deal, Dogibarthi said. Since fall 2013, UNO offers in-state tuition rates to first-year, out-of-state undergraduate students who meet eligibility requirements. According to UNO President Peter J. Fos, the Privateer First Year Scholarship will help the University cast a wider net in attracting more high ability students from across the country and around the world.

Dogibarthi and Kotaru graduated from the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management, popularly known as GITAM. A group of intellectuals and industrialists founded the University's main campus in 1980 and in 2009 established a branch in Hyderabad.

Rudararaju, who is joining the UNO master's program straight out of college, matriculated from the Vardhaman College of Engineering.  

The University of New Orleans expects to open a new International Student Center later this year. The student center will be located in an existing building near the main entrance to campus and will be a new home to the University's Office of International Students and Scholars

The OISS provides comprehensive immigration advising, programming and support services to all international students and faculty and their dependents. The Office also works with faculty and administrators to build friendship agreements with foreign universities to help recruit new students and assure them an outstanding education.

Moreover, the OISS helps international students at UNO to find fun. The Office helps international student organizations at UNO to plan cultural teas and International Night, an evening of music, food and entertainment designed to introduce the UNO community to the cultures and traditions of some of the many cultures represented at UNO.

One promise that brought smiles to new faces is that the new International Student Center at UNO will have a lounge, where international students can congregate.


Read More

The Office of International Students and Scholarships
University of New Orleans Celebrates International Education Week 2013