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Sunday, April 21, 2024

UF provides resources for incoming international students

Guidance for international students includes research opportunities, tutoring and counseling

Annika Gonzalez, an 18-year-old UF international finance freshman from Panama, plans on moving to Gainesville in August. As a college applicant, she recalls struggling with getting in contact with university registrar during the initial stages of her application. 

“The process is definitely very tedious,” she said.

Gonzalez officially committed to UF after she visited campus and resolved clerical difficulties that come from relocating.

There are many differences between national and international applications, she said. There are less ways to get in contact as an international student.

The university provides its about 6,000 international students with resources to aid their enrollment and familiarize themselves with any cultural differences within education.

Hélène Huet, UF’s European studies librarian, encourages international students to turn to the library for scholarly guidance.

The Smathers Libraries’ guide for international students provides information on the structure and navigation of U.S. libraries, as well as language skill tools and community resources, Huet wrote in an email.

The libraries also host events like an international movie festival, particularly during International Education Week in November, where foreign students are encouraged to participate, Huet wrote.

Lisa Campbell, Library West’s instruction and outreach librarian, pushes for international students to check out the libraries’ foreign language materials that are carried in physical and digital collections.

Library West and the Fine Arts and Architecture Library also carry PocketTalk, a handheld translation device that offers two-way voice translation for 82 languages including localized dialects and slang. The devices also provide visual translation for 55 languages through cameras for handwriting, typed text and sign translation. 

“By connecting the device to campus Wi-Fi, faculty and students can easily translate world language textbooks and library resources, comfortably converse in their own languages and help others learn and communicate,” Huet wrote. 

The UF Counseling and Wellness Center has the Gator International Focus Team, a team of campus service providers equipped to assist international students. Resources offered vary from consultation and workshops to identifying needs and challenges specific to international students.

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“I really do hope that I will be able to get any help that I need when I’m there,” Gonzalez said.

UF International Center website provides links to additional resources, including the Career Connections Center, student organizations, undergraduate research and tutoring.

Contact Nicole at nbeltran@allligator.org. Follow her on Twitter at @nicolebeltg.

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Nicole Beltran

Nicole Beltran is a second-year journalism and economics major. This is her first semester as the race and equity reporter. She has previously worked as a translator and editor for El Caimán. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, trying new foods and drawing.


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