Living on campus can be a daunting experience for new international students in the US, but Sue eases that transition for our new students at CU and ensures they are welcomed with open arms.

From ensuring that students are matched appropriately prior to arrival, to following up and taking care of numerous (both big & small) residential student requests, international students are ensured a positive experience when living on campus at CU.  Sue goes out of her way to confirm travel plans for newly arriving students, as well as guarantees a warm and welcoming move in.

What are some of the responsibilities of your job?

Job responsibilities include knowing and supporting Student Life Division and its various department activities and programs. Housing Coordinator portion is ongoing placements for new and returning students in Residence Halls.

As a staff member, in what ways might international students expect to interact with you once they’re on campus?

Students would come to our office with questions about a meal plan or housing. Also to find where to go for answers to other Student Life questions, including how to get involved on campus and inquire about other services. (and – for Friday popcorn!)

What are some of your hobbies/special interests?

Personally, gardening, reading and a little bird watching.

You’ve been identified as a staff member who is a favorite among international students. What do you do to make international learners feel at home and why do you make a priority of doing this?

I believe it is important to make international students feel comfortable and welcome when they are far from their home – that’s the mom in me. I also think everyone should be more willing to learn from those who are different from us so we become a richer and better- informed community. I also have a secret, never-realized passion for faraway places and I enjoy talking to people and learning about other countries.

In your experience, what value have international students added to your classes/the Concordia experience?

Bringing the world closer to many who have not had this experience. Opening hearts and minds to the world around us (and delicious food!).

Being a student in a foreign country can bring its fair share of challenges. In your opinion, is it worth it? Why?

I truly want it to be worth it for these students. I do think we have to cultivate their experiences to be certain we are making this invaluable and rewarding. My son’s trip abroad was truly life changing and I hope we can do this for many International students.

Name one thing (and explain it) that sets Concordia apart from other options out there for international students? What might an international student expect to find when they step foot on campus

A safe, caring environment. A place where we live out our mission daily to serve others in our community and in the world.

How might pursuing a degree in your field of expertise be relevant/necessary for a global citizen?

Serving in my capacity, I have a chance to make a positive impression on young professionals and students alike. It is fun and rewarding to see students engage outside of the academic areas of their choice. We have an opportunity to see personal growth in students and student workers and witness this first hand.

What advice would you give to incoming international students?

Have patience – sometimes it’s hard for domestic students to venture outside of their comfort zones. In the end, it is beneficial for all students to experience these relationships. I would also encourage them to reach out in different ways whether it is attending events or just talking to other students.

What do you want prospective international students to know about Concordia?

Similar to answer number 11 – working every day to make this a reality.

— Kai Goldenstein is a student writer and senior year Social Work major, minoring in German

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