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Make a Home at OSU

Peer Mentor students at the IRC

Oregon State University’s Division of International Programs is committed to student success, integration, and retention. We are committed to enriching students’ experiences by offering various levels of support on each individual’s educational journey. Upon arriving to OSU in Corvallis, OR, international students may experience many cultural and social adjustment issues that can impact their success. Making friends, getting used to the food, social structure, academic system, and way of life can be difficult in a new place. To help students navigate these challenges, we have created the International Peer Mentoring Program (IPMP). With the IPMP, students have a chance to meet with their peers to talk about their experiences studying at Oregon State University.

The Office of International Services, INTO OSU, Diversity and Cultural Engagement, and other campus partners to promote a program that fosters connection and a sense of belonging for international students. By facilitating these peer-to-peer interactions, we work to further student development and engagement within both the OSU and Corvallis communities. We hope to build a community of learners that will support and inspire one another during their time at OSU and beyond.

Our Mission

Our mission is to prepare OSU’s students to be responsible and engaged leaders for a global society by enhancing academic success along with cultural and social integration. The International Peer Mentoring Program places students at the center of responsibility for their experience and education and works to empower each individual to engage in personal and academic growth through their interactions with their community and environment. 

Learning Objectives

After participating in IPMP, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and navigate cultural, academic, and social adjustment issues that arise upon arrival in the US and at OSU and utilize resources on and off campus that support those needs.

  2. Establish a support network of peers upon which they can rely throughout their time at OSU.

  3. Develop leadership skills that they can apply to their future careers and educational pursuits.

Structure & Expectations

This program is structured as a Fall-intake program, but will accept new international students on a case-by-case basis during Winter and Spring terms. Mentors will be matched with new international students over the summer and will attempt to communicate with their mentees at least once prior to arrival. Mentors will be involved in Orientation and should arrange to meet with their mentees during this week. Group events will be scheduled throughout the year.

Target Populations

  • Mentors: 15-20 (primarily undergraduate, some graduate) students with demonstrable global experience recruited and trained during Spring term

  • Mentees: 15-60 new international undergraduate (direct admit, pathway, and exchange) students recruited during Spring/Summer

Expectations

Mentors should remember that they are ambassadors of the university, and should agree to behave in a fashion befitting that of a university representative. However, mentors and mentees should also be careful to remember that participants are not qualified or expected to counsel in a professional capacity regarding immigration, mental health, or other issues.

  1. Participation: year long with heaviest commitment in Fall; Mentors are expected to attend mandatory trainings and volunteer during International Orientation

  2. Communication: via email, telephone, social media, or face-to-face

  3. Hours: at least 60 minutes each week, with mandatory trainings for mentors

  4. Safety: meet in public areas, report any safety issues to the Program Coordinator

  5. Respect: personal information shared in confidence during a mentoring relationship should be respected and kept private unless they relate to safety issues*

  6. Accountability: those having trouble communicating with their peers should let the Program Coordinator know

  7. Withdrawal: participation is voluntary; please inform the Program Coordinator immediately upon withdrawal from the program so peers may be reassigned

*Certain safety issues (related to sexual assault, violence, child abuse, or suicide) may be part of required reporting for the university. Mentors and mentees should be prepared to discuss potential issues with the Program Coordinator.