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International Initiatives at Graduate College (IIGC) was delighted to give a warm and festive welcome to ASU’s newest International Accelerated Degree Program (IADP) students at the Fall 2016 IADP Academic Welcome Session on August 17. Each IADP student has come from one of the non-U.S. universities with which ASU has partnered to offer academic programs centered around accelerated Master’s degrees at ASU. These partner universities select their most qualified students to apply for IADPs at ASU.
IADPs take many forms, with the most popular being the “3+1+1” format. In a 3+1+1 IADP, high-achieving undergraduate students spend their first three years at their home-country university, then come to ASU for their senior year of undergraduate studies, during which they may also earn some credits toward their Master’s. After successfully completing their first year at ASU, and transferring their senior credits back home, their home-country university issues their bachelor’s degree. In the next academic year, the students earn their Master’s degree from ASU.
IADP students must be English language proficient, prepared to navigate extreme culture shock, and committed to handling very rigorous course loads from their first to last semester at ASU. In spite of these challenges, the graduation success rates of IADP students from ASU Master’s programs has been extremely high.
After the international student orientation and academic program orientation sessions that IADP students attend in August, IIGC enjoys hosting the annual Academic Welcome Session for them. These new students are usually experiencing “information overload” when they arrive at this event, so it is designed to be relaxed, fun, and highly social. The room is decorated, music is playing, lunch is provided, and round tables are used to encourage conversation. Associate Vice Provost Ajay Vinze gave an informative and entertaining presentation which mixed a reinforcement of some important messages the students need to remember with interesting cultural and environmental facts about ASU, the Sonoran Desert and Arizona. Several IADP students who have already been at ASU for a year attend as “IADP Ambassador” volunteers for the event, and submit themselves to a humorous round of Q & A about their experiences as new international students at ASU the previous Fall. This year’s event culminated in a lively competition for prizes playing an ASU- and Arizona-centered trivia game based on Bingo. Not only was it fun, but it introduced several new local-culture words to the students’ vocabularies.
Helping to make the event a warm welcome, as well as informative, were the advisors and program leaders who attended from each of the ASU academic units which offer IADP degrees. The IADP students truly appreciated getting to meet and ask questions of the staff and faculty members, and the IADP Ambassadors, prior to classes beginning.
IADP students at ASU represent the success of some highly valued ASU international partnerships. IIGC looks forward to welcoming these newest IADP students back to the Fall 2017 IADP Academic Welcome Session as IADP Ambassadors with great experiences to share.