Miami Hosts Pre-Orientation Program in China

audience member speaking into microphone at pre-orientation in China, audience all looking at him

By Kristin Magyari, assistant director for communications and marketing, global initiatives

Miami staff recently returned from hosting a pre-orientation program in two of China's major cities. Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), Molly Heidemann, answers questions about their experience in preparing incoming international students from China for their journey across the globe this August to embark in a new experience here at Miami. 

Q: What is Miami's pre-orientation for international students?

A: Pre-orientation is an event that is held each summer (beginning in 2014) to help incoming Chinese students prepare for their arrival to the United States and Miami University, and to give their parents an opportunity to meet Miami University staff and learn more about our institution. It is a half-day event that includes various sessions on Academics, Living on Campus, Preparing for Arrival, and Career Success (which was new this year).

Molly Heidemann headshotQ: Who attends pre-orientation? What Miami staff and volunteers participated? 

A: All confirmed First-Year and ACE students from China are invited to attend. This summer, about 100 students attended, along with about 100 parents (roughly 50 students and 50 parents in each city). The Miami team this year was comprised of myself, Carol Olausen (ACE), Tekeia Howard (Career Services), Chanelle White (FSB), and Lina Zhang (Admissions), along with about 15 Miami student volunteers supporting on site.

Q: Where and when does pre-orientation take place?

A: This year, events took place in Beijing (June 16) and Shanghai (June 14). We have also held events in Guangzhou and Chengdu in the past.

Q: Why is pre-orientation important?

A: It helps set our students up for success by better preparing them for their arrival to the US and Miami University. Our goals are for students to feel better prepared, to be more aware of campus resources, to feel more connected to Miami University and more confident about choosing Miami, and to begin making connection with other incoming students.

In addition, we want to give parents the opportunity to meet Miami staff in person and learn more about the school and city where they are sending their students. We want parents to feel more connected to Miami, to feel confident about their student’s choice, and to know where they can turn for answers when they have questions.

Q: Any plans with pre-orientation in the future? Will you continue to host sessions?

A: We currently plan to continue offering Pre-Orientation in China in upcoming years, as Chinese students are still our highest population of incoming undergraduate students. If numbers from other countries such as India and Vietnam continue to increase significantly, we will consider expanding the program to other countries.

Miami staff walking the Great Wall of China
 staff taking a selfie in China  staff taking a selfie in China
 Miami student volunteers working check-in table at pre-orientation in China
 group photo of staff and volunteers at pre-orientation program
staff giving a presentation at pre-orientation program