Kent State International Student Orientation Leaders Program Goes Global

Two staff members at Kent State University received international recognition for creating the International Student Orientation (ISO) Leaders program, a program for international students to become acquainted with each other and gain valuable information that is integral for a successful transition to Kent State.

Jameela Abdullah, senior international admissions counselor, and Megan Gerbez, senior international student and scholar advisor, presented their program at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ international conference this year. NAFSA is the world’s largest association dedicated to international education and exchange.

Students begin the program virtually through a GroupMe chat where they are invited to interact with ISO leaders who are also current students, allowing students to form new relationships to make their transition easier.

The orientation program consists of  a mix of virtual and in-person components. It is mandatory that international students enroll in ISO because the program provides them with vital information on maintaining immigration status and  successfully transitioning to Kent State.

“We are also making significant changes to the program this year to move some regular programming to a virtual platform so that we can have more in person events, following all protocols, of course,” said Sarah Malcolm, the executive director of the Office of Global Education.

If social distancing guidelines permit, a limited number of in-person sessions will begin on August 18, 2021, in the Kent State Student Center and in outdoor locations throughout campus.. More details regarding the event can be found at

While the program will be hosting more in-person events, virtual events will still be available for those students who are staying home and enrolling remotely.

To further assist students, the ISO is launching a number of initiatives, including full-scale airport pick up, welcome bag with “first night essentials”, such as drinks and snacks, and a SIM card that will allow students to obtain cell phone service upon their arrival.”

To learn more about the ISO and upcoming events, visit

POSTED: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 05:26 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 05:26 PM
Olivia Futo