When International Students first arrive at Truman, they are greeted by their Cultural Integration Leader (CIL), one of a team of American students who live in the residence halls with new International Students and help them adjust to university and life in the States. CILs not only help with the New Student Orientation, they are a source of information and support throughout the first year. CILs do things like have lunch with students, attend campus events or go shopping. Sometimes they just hang out and spend time as college students will, studying or watching TV or just talking.
Samantha Collins, a junior American CIL, says that her time at Truman would not be the same if she was not a CIL. “I like being able to share what I love about Truman with new students and see them come to love Truman as much as I do. A cool thing about being a CIL is that, by the end of the semester, you get really close to your students and are able to call them a friend. I am glad that I have had this experience, and I think it is good to know that when you are at a new place, you have someone to look out for you and to help you, someone who really enjoys doing it.”
Olivier Samo, who was born in Cameroon and is studying abroad at Truman from Germany, attended the annual CIL Thanksgiving Dinner. “It was an opportunity for students to celebrate together all the things they are thankful for and to eat traditional American Thanksgiving foods,” Samo said. He went on, “The dinner was a great chance for me to see how a typical Thanksgiving dinner looks like. The food was great. It was my first time to taste a traditional Thanksgiving Meal and I am very thankful to the ISAO who organized it.”
“Since I came to Truman, the Cultural Integration leaders have helped me a lot. I remember my first day arriving from Germany, some of them were there waiting for me and they were really friendly. They helped me get in touch with my new environment and were always ready to help me when I needed help. It’s a great program!”