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Being International at Carleton

Get a little insight on what international life at Carleton is like!

Get a little insight on what international life at Carleton is like!


Being an international student isn’t easy. I know because I am one.

You have to adjust to a different language, different culture, different living style, different many things. It can be especially nerve-wracking as a freshmen, new to college, but don’t worry! Carleton has resources to help you through!

First, we have the Office of Intercultural & International Life (OIIL) which is dedicated to advocating for an inclusive community on campus. First-year students are welcome to sign up for the OIIL peer leader program which pairs first-year students with OPLs (OIIL Peer Leaders). I personally stayed friends with my peer leader beyond the program and even got to know some of her friends pretty well, too.

At East Dining Hall with my friend Ayasa during International Student Orientation & New Student Week
At East Dining Hall with my friend, Ayasa, during International Student Orientation & New Student Week

All international students coming into Carleton are invited to International Student Orientation (ISO). ISO takes place about a week earlier than New Student Week, when all new students come together to get familiar with campus. During ISO, international students take part in different workshops to understand the cultural shocks they could experience and make friends. During ISO, OIIL also takes students to set up local bank accounts, get SIM cards, organize shopping trips to target, etc.

ISO Awards 2018
International Student Orientation Awards 2018

There are also different cultural clubs on campus that students can join. And, to celebrate the diversity at Carleton, we have the International Festival every year! Every spring term students create and serve food from all around the world and put on a variety of cultural performances and cultural workshops.

Yummy and fun!

International Festival at Carleton
International Festival Spring 2019

An additional perk of being an international student, if you speak a language other than English, is that you can test out of the language requirement at Carleton. Even if you speak a language that is not offered at Carleton, you can still test out. Yay!

Clearly, being international at Carleton could be a lot of fun! And we have an amazing OIIL office to help us through.

Stay tuned for my next post and I hope you all stay safe and healthy ūüôā


Lucy is a rising junior who studies biology and Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS). Growing up in China, US, UK, and Germany, Lucy has found herself a new home at Carleton. Lucy loves music and is a huge animal enthusiast. She sings in acapella and is a liuqin player of the Chinese music ensemble. Lucy dreams to make wonderful nature documentaries like Our Planet one day. Outside of classes you will sure find her busy capturing animals all over campus! Meet the other bloggers!