Adjusting to a college out of your home country can be a monumental task. Whitman College provides a 2½ day orientation just before new student orientation to help smooth your adjustment between home and college. International student orientation, or O-camp, is mandatory and is free of charge. Attendance is required for incoming international students and international transfers and US student who have lived abroad are encouraged to attend. Ten to fifteen returning international students help organize and put on the two and a half days of O-Camp.
Students who attended last year make the following comments about their O-camp experience:
"Being new anywhere is always a challenging if not overwhelming task—all the more so for college!—and international orientation camp definitely helped ease the process of adjusting to a new place and country. More than anything else, camping together with the other incoming freshman and seniors who had come along created a support and comfort system that extends far beyond the few days at camp! It was also good to get a few extra days to get acclimatized to the new environment and take care of the administrative stuff that could potentially be a difficult task to do alone once school starts.
"Overall, I think international orientation is not only an important part of coming to college but also a lot of fun!"
— Aakanksha Veenapani, India, Class of 2009
"Spending the first few days at Whitman with a close group of diverse students was an enjoyable way of adjusting to college life. We all shared and listened to our stories about anxiety, confusion, and excitement, and quickly established close bonds that still last today.
"I got a sense of what to expect academically and received useful tips for dealing with a wide variety of issues and concerns. International Orientation was truly a wonderful way to smoothen my transition to Whitman."
— Moabi Garebamono, Gaborone, Botswana, Class of 2009
"I think the international students' orientation camp was a great way to start my Whitman experience. The orientation was quite different from the general first-year orientation conducted by the SAs and RAs. Our orientation placed a lot more emphasis on the resources available to us in school and in Walla Walla, and it dealt with specific official and legal stuff, rather than the general "Dos and Don'ts" rules that you get from the RAs. It also provided an avenue to make great bonds early in my Whitman life."
— Henry Kpaka, Sierra Leone, Class of 2009
Kris (Kristine) Barry
International Student Advisor
Fax: (509) 527-5934