Our newest students from Japan, South Korea, and China arrived at Monroe on April 25th to move in to housing and begin the transition to a new culture. Their welcome included a bowling outing at New Roc with Dean Steve Schultheis, a welcome brunch with Vice President Marc Jerome, a special orientation and a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for Sakrua Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival. Angelyn Forbes-Freeze, Associate Director of International Student Services, hosted the trip, which included a breakfast for the students, some of their English professors and 10 current students who are acting as mentors. The trees had exploded in a riot of pink blossoms that made visitors feel as if they were walking into a fairyland. Some attendees were dressed in costumes from popular anime films, while others came in traditional yukatas. Our new students enjoyed all of the floral and entertainment offerings in the park, as well as eating delicious Japanese picnic food, served in bento boxes.
These outings began a bonding among the students as well as with the Monroe staff and current students. It gave them very positive feelings about the college, and helped them feel as if Monroe is their home away from home.