DePauw’s Global Partners program matches first-year international students with students who reside in the United States based on shared interests, such as sports, hobbies, and areas of study. Students meet with their partners at least once a month for events sponsored by DePauw International Student Affairs (DISA), which include social events such as movie nights, concerts, coffee meet-ups, and other various campus events such as the International Bazaar.
These casual meet-ups are intended to help first-year international students adjust to life at DePauw and American culture. Global partners prides itself on giving both domestic and international students exposure to learn about cultures different from their own. On their website, DePauw’s Global Partners program describes some of its benefits, which include making a new friend from a foreign culture, helping students new to the United States by sharing American culture at DePauw University, learning more about a new culture or language from somebody close in age, and helping students to build a skill set in international communication. The program acts as preparation for students who are planning to go abroad.
Grace Heinle ‘24 explains why she joined Global Partners and what she hopes to gain from participating in the program.
“I decided to join Global Partners because I am a global French studies major and I love to travel,” Heinle said, “This program enables me to make new connections on campus, and learn about the experiences of my peers around the world.”
“I am excited to show my partner different experiences at DePauw like going to Marvin's and soccer games with friends. It is important that we make people who are new to DePauw feel welcome and included in traditions,” she said.
DePauw’s Global Partners program had its first meeting of the semester on Sept. 22 at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Students at the meeting helped themselves to free Jimmy Johns sandwiches as they met their partners for the first time. For the initial partner orientation, students introduced themselves, socialized with other international and domestic partners, and played various games in order to get to know each other better.
“I had a great experience meeting my partner,” Heinle said.
There was an event held at the CDI by Nagi Fujie, who is the program coordinator. “I got to meet multiple freshmen and we had a great conversation. We exchanged contact information and are making plans together,” she said.
All domestic and international students that meet DePauw’s standards of eligibility are welcome to apply to the Global Partners program. Since the program’s partner-selection process is based on students’ differences in culture, DISA issues the following statement about how students of all different cultural backgrounds and identities are recognized and supported by the university.
According to the statement, “DePauw recognizes a broad range of attributes that can be considered in defining the unique self-identifications of an individual including, but not limited to: race, color, ethnicity, religious beliefs, national origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, gender identity, gender expression, age, immigrant status, physical, social, and intellectual attributes and abilities, mental health, physical appearance, military experience, geographic roots, marital status, parental status, education, native language, and political affiliation/beliefs.”
While the deadline to sign-up and be matched with a partner has passed, international and domestic students alike are more than welcome to come check out future Global Partners events this semester. Global Partners’ next scheduled meeting will be Thursday, October 27 from 6-7 p.m. at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.