December 2013
In This Issue
International Education Week Highlights
Thanksgiving Host Program
International Assistant Events
Spouses/Family Events
Conversation Partner Program
International Student Contribution
GISA Update
ICBC Update

Helpful Links

Contact Information

Office of International Students and Scholars

Maloney Hall, Suite 249


T: (617)552-8005

F: 617-552-2190 


Follow us on Twitter  @BCOISS

International Education Week Highlights
The week of November 11-15th was 
Education Week, which was a week-long series of academic, social and cultural events.  IEW occurs not only at Boston College but throughout many colleges in the United States. This initiative by the State Department began in 2000 and has steadily gained force each year. The OISS and other offices and departments were thrilled to coordinate and help facilitate more than 30 events this year. Check out the news articles and press about BC International Education Week!  
Read below for IEW highlights.
IEW Photo Exhibit: World Through Our Eyes 
For the entire month of November, the Level One Gallery of the O'Neill Library displayed more than 50 photos taken by members of the BC community of their travels abroad as well as scenes from their home countries. 
For details, please see the article from the BC Heights: 

Mary McAleese - Former President of Ireland
As an opening event for IEW, the former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, along with her husband Martin, a university chancellor, discussed the benefits and impact of international education.

For details, please see the article from the BC Heights: McAleeses Discuss Education Abroad


Global Career Panel 
OISS co-sponsored a panel with the Office of International Programs and the Career Center that featured five Boston College alumni, all with careers with an international focus.  Each panel member discussed the skills and competencies necessary to pursue an international career and shared advice on getting started.  Their jobs included positions in government, business, communications, education, and healthcare, among others. 

For more details, please see the article from the BC Heights:
How to Pronounce Chinese Names
Over forty administrators and faculty members participated in the workshop "How to Pronounce Chinese Names!" The workshop was presented by Xiaoqing Yu (also known as Bevlyn), a former graduate student from China. Ms. Yu is now a Chinese professor for students at the undergraduate level at Boston College. At the start of the session, Xiaoqing pointed out that in China, she would introduce herself as "Yu Xiaoqing," with the family name first. She explained that all Chinese students must adjust to hearing and speaking their given name prior to their family name when studying in the United States.
Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop 
Adrienne Nussbaum led a communication workshop for 25 administrators, faculty, and students.  Shiqi Yin, a Lynch grad student who also helped facilitate the workshop, commented that it helped her reflect on the "culture and values behind different communication styles." She added that it was "a great reminder that we need to let go of our judgements when we meet people who communicate differently."
Dancing with International Stars
"America is a cultural melting pot; however, this does not mean that we need to erase our past. Instead, we should introduce the culture that molds who we are today. With that idea in mind, the Education and Service team of GISA held the event "Dancing with International Stars." On this night, we had "international stars" from Taiwan, India, Turkey, Nepal,  Jamaica, and the United States. The event was divided into two parts: traditional dance performances and modern dance performances, including short dance lessons of each style of dance. We hoped by sharing and learning dances from various countries, BC students could know more about different cultures, and international students could have the opportunity to enrich the melting pot of BC."


For photos from the event, please go to:

Dancing with International Stars Photo Exhibit  


For additional photos, please see them on the last page of the BC Chronicle:

World Dance Party 

Thanksgiving Day Host Program
The BC Community Opens their Homes to International Students and Scholars
For the 22nd annual Thanksgiving Day Host Program, fifteen members of the BC community signed up to host 45 individuals, including students, scholars, and their families for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 28th.  Check out the photos here from @BC:  Home for the Holiday Slideshow  

According to one host, the best part of the program is "becoming temporary family for a stranger that all of a sudden becomes like a familiar friend because of the spirit of the season," as well as getting to know BC and the "fabric of its community" more deeply.

Thank you to all who participated in making this American tradition a meaningful experience for the international members of the BC community!
International Assistant Events

Thanksgiving Dinner
Each year, the OISS asks our International Assistants to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for international freshmen and exchange students--this year they cooked for 125 people! The goal of this program is to immerse our students into the cultural Thanksgiving dinner that sweeps America every November. The dinner was a huge success this year and was fully cooked by the IA's, who were able to portray the meaning behind Thanksgiving to their international partners.

Holiday Social
As a farewell event, International Assistants and international students gathered for holiday cookies and hot chocolate. Safe travels and good luck to the exchange students returning home this month! 
International Spouses/Family Events

Thanksgiving Social 
On Tuesday, Nov 19th the OISS held a Thanksgiving meal for all spouses of international students and scholars, along with their family members.  Boston Market catered authentic turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, complete with apple and pumpkin pie. The group discussed the origin of Thanksgiving and today's traditions, including shopping on Black Friday!

Holiday Social
The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) partnered with the Office of Graduate Student Life (GSL) to organize a 
Winter Social for graduate students, scholars, and their families. On Wednesday, December 11th, adults and children alike joined together to create holiday crafts and decorate holiday cookies. Santa Claus also made a surprise visit to the children! 
Please join the Facebook group! 
Conversation Partner Program
Press in Boston College Magazine

In its Summer 2013 issue, Boston College Magazine published a story about the Conversation Partner Program, which matches new international graduate students with members of the BC community. The pairs meet weekly with the goal of practicing English conversation and discussing American culture. See the original article here.
For its Fall 2013 issue, the BC Magazine printed letters from other participants of the Conversation Partner Program in response to the original article. Read the letters here, under the heading "New Voices."
If you are interested in participating in the Conversation Partner Program, please email!
International Student Contribution
Grad Student  Leads Cross-Cultural Communication  Workshop


Led by Shiqi Lin, School of Education:


"In this workshop, the participants reflected on their own experiences of mis-communications with people from a culture different to their own, explored the two communication styles--direct and indirect communication style, and the culture and value behind them. By the end of the workshop, we gained awareness of where the cross-cultural communication gap comes from both in our daily life and in professional settings. In addition we discussed learning tools to detect other people's communication styles, as well as your own. The workshop was facilitated in an experiential way to allow the participants to reflect and share in depth."

Thank you to Shiqi for all her contributions to OISS and the BC community!    
Student OrganizationsGISA3

Graduate Organization: 
Graduate International Student Association


The Leadership Team of the Graduate International Student Association (GISA) is happy to have had a wonderful semester. Activities this semester included a visit to the Museum of Science, participation in the Weekly Graduate Discussion Series, and the collaboration with OISS to lead the event "Dancing with International Stars" in November. Our Culture & Diversity Team will soon host our first Restaurant Hop for the academic year - stay tuned for more details!

We would like to give a special thanks to Ana Peralta Morales of the Dominican Republic. She will be graduating from the Lynch School of Education and has served on GISA's Leadership team since 2012. Congratulations and thank you for your contributions to the graduate international student community. We wish you the best in your future pursuits! 

We are excited about the next semester and look forward to everyone's continued support and engagement. Thank you again and happy holidays!

Facebook: BC GISA       Email:      Twitter: @BCGISA

Undergraduate Organization:
International Club of Boston College

This fall semester of 2013, the International Club of BC hosted many events for our increasing member base. We held our fifth annual International Prom last November to conclude International Education Week, which was a sold out event. We also continued our new ICBC tradition- our Cultural Spotlight series. We had a German Culture night and a Korean Culture night in collaboration with the German Club and the Korean Students' Association. In addition, our academic directors put together a panel discussion on the crisis in Syria featuring Professors Kathleen Bailey and Ikram Easton. Next semester will see many more events to celebrate diversity at Boston College.  Happy Holidays from The ICBC E-Board!