By: Bridget Fletcher, Assistant Director of Student Services
As a part of our on-boarding process for the entering class of 2013-2014, we held a series of events in China and India. Dr. Murray and I met with students in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Bangalore. These visits gave us an opportunity to do a couple of things to help students prepare for their trip to Duke. First, we were able to meet one-on-one with students to help them with class selections, general questions about the program, and to (hopefully) ease some concerns about life in the US. Next we were able to introduce the incoming students to some alumni and current students of the program, not to mention a chance to meet each other! Finally, we were able to gather all the students in each city together for a shared meal and a presentation to formally welcome them to the program.
We also held a series of alumni events in each city that led to some great opportunities to catch up with alumni in China and India. Our students go on to do some amazing things! From the trading floor in Shanghai to the essential oils business in India, we learned about the many ways our alumni are putting what they learned at Duke to good use in the world.
Some of our alumni, current students, and even future students also spent some time with us exploring each city. This was a great way for us to really experience the places many of our students come from. I learned so much about each place from our many talented tour guides! For example, I learned that in Shanghai, shopping in your pajamas is a tradition and rain in Bangalore can stop traffic for hours at a time. Some of the greatest foods, sights, and experiences of my life happened on this trip and it was a pleasure to share them with such wonderful people!
In each city we visited I saw some great things happen – roommates were chosen, course work was discussed, friends were reunited and new friends were made. It can be intimidating to plan a move halfway around the world to a country you might have never visited before. We hope these sessions with a few of our staffers, alums, and current students, made that journey a little easier.