Starting a new phase of life can be a very daunting experience whether it’s graduate school, a new job, or moving to a new city, let alone moving to a new country. Nonetheless, when the final confirmation comes in, we brace ourselves and dive headfirst into unknown waters. The journey we undertake is quite harrowing, both physically and mentally. We are forced to deal with legalities and formalities that seem never-ending. By the time we land on foreign soil, we feel that we’ve become quite adept at handling the unknown and are ready for all the curveballs life throws at us. Unfortunately, that is not true.
Habituating oneself to a new culture is exceedingly demanding, and often in this process of adaptation, we misplace our own identity. We strive to build a home for ourselves while navigating unfamiliar territories and soon find ourselves unable to lift the weight of our responsibilities. Even though eventually we do establish ourselves, it takes time and a lot of effort.
The International Students Association (ISA) is a newly formed association whose goal is to help international personnel establish themselves and solidify their identity in this kaleidoscope of cultures. The foundation for the ISA was laid 2 years ago when our founding president decided to form this association and began the official paperwork to bring ISA into existence under the guidance of our faculty advisors.
Our mission is the Empowerment, Development, and Exchange of International personnel along with the Integration of knowledge and information about international culture and travel into LSUHSC. Our vision encompasses the comfortable transition of all international personnel from their respective home countries to New Orleans, coordinate pre-arrival and post-arrival milestones, improve the participation of international personnel in schoolwide and citywide events, and coordinate meets with international Alumni.
We will be having several events and fundraisers throughout the year. We hope to establish a speaker series with speakers addressing different topics like policies and laws concerning international personnel, international travel, culture, and working abroad, to name a few. Fundraisers are going to celebrate a variety of international festivals. It is our objective to host 3 to 4 fundraisers each year, each celebrating a different festival. Our upcoming fundraiser in November is going to celebrate the Festival of Lights, which is celebrated across different cultures and is known by many names like Deepavali in India, Fête des lumières in France, and Spring Lantern Festival in China.
Establishing ties with the international community in other universities and creating an international alumni database is high among our list of priorities. We aspire to establish a network for international personnel that will amount to a substantial resource.
We invite everyone to join us in our endeavor to make LSUHSC a better place not just for the international community but for everyone, to help us bridge the cultural gap and to truly appreciate this fusion of cultures.