International Student Involvement on Campus

FISH Members at Seton Hall enjoy a VIP basketball experience with the President of the University and the Dean of the Business School

A key part to the college experience is getting involved in the university community. Whether it be clubs, sports, or volunteering, there are seemingly endless opportunities for involvement. These extra-curricular activities often end up containing the defining moments of our college journey. Rarely does the earth-shattering, character-defining moment happen in the classroom.

For these reasons, it is vital that schools guide international students to involvement in the various activities. Too often, schools are focused on English training or classroom dynamics. These are certainly important aspects, but they cannot be the only ones developed. Facilitating involvement in these activities can actually lead to greater growth in everything, including language skills because it’s about putting concepts into practice.

Being involved in the university community can build friendships, school pride, and knowledge. But, it’s not always easy to get involved — particularly for international students. Everything seems different. Nothing seems translatable. That’s why having a guide can be so important. FISH Institute is that guide for international students. We do things at scale, allowing students and schools to optimize the international student experience.

International students enjoy a basketball game with their American classmates

College sports represent a great opportunity for international students to get involved in the University community, and FISH capitalized on this opportunity in style.

FISH members at Seton Hall University were treated to a VIP experience for the men’s basketball game against St. Peter’s on December 13th. This was the first time any of the members had attended a collegiate men’s basketball game, and they had quite the experience!

Once the students walked through the front entrance of the Prudential Center and their paths diverged from the rest of the attendees, the FISH members realized that they were going to be given a unique experience. Upon scanning their tickets, the students were directed toward the entrance of the luxury suites. One private elevator ride later, the students walked into their personal luxury suite. As they took in their surroundings, a feeling of awe and excitement could be heard. The suite offered a perfect view of the court, luxury seating, flat-screen televisions, and private catering complete with an unlimited assortment of food including popcorn, cheeses, fruits, buffalo wings, sliders, chicken fingers, and cookies.

Accompanying them on this experience were American students. With the mutual love for Seton Hall basketball, the presence of their domestic counterparts gave FISH members the opportunity to develop friendships while improving their English skills. Additionally, the students had a few more special guests join them on this experience. The Dean of the Business school Joyce Stawser attended along with University President Gabriel Esteban and his wife Josephine. The students enjoyed personal conversations with these leaders of the Seton Hall community.

The highlight of the day came just before halftime. Three members of FISH Institute were given the chance to participate in the Chick-fil-A shooting contest. The contest required that the students break out into three positions and make a layup, free-throw, and three pointer in 30 seconds to win a free Chick-fil-A sandwich for everyone in the suite. Despite, the pressure of being on the court in front of thousands of attendees, Shixun (Mark) Ma and Shaojun (Vincent) Wei knocked down the layup and free throw on their first try. “Making it look easy…till now,” said the infamous announcer Tim McCloone. The difficult task of hitting the three pointer was left up to Chuwei (Sam) Liu. After missing his first shot, many at the arena believed the pressure had gotten to Sam. But, in his second attempt, he nailed the shot and the crowd cheered. These three students had just won sandwiches for their peers in the suite.

But it wasn’t over yet: Sam now had the chance to take one half-court shot to win everyone in the arena a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. Sam took a few dribbles and heaved the ball into the air. McCloone tensely announced “this is for everybody in the arena.” No one had made the shot and won the contest in three years, so the crowd went silent and watched the trajectory of the ball, until it kissed off the backboard and through the net. Sam had just won everyone in the arena a free Chick-fil-A sandwich! The crowd burst out in a roar of excitement. Sam celebrated as if he had been taking those kinds of shots for a living. The FISH members on the court and in the suite were overjoyed. To cap off this moment, the FISH members in the suite were featured on the arena’s video screen, as the attendees praised Sam, Vincent, and Ma for winning all of them a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. Walking off the court, Vincent remarked, “this is like a dream, straight out of the movies.”

The legendary contest winners Mark, Vincent, and Sam

This elite opportunity represents yet another high-end experience offered exclusively to members of FISH Institute. FISH Institute is dedicated to enriching the social, academic, and professional journeys of international students through unique and shared experiences.

To view more photos from this event, please view our Flickr. To learn more about FISH and how we can assist your international students, visit our website. You can also email us at Together, we can make the international student experience better.

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