by Megan Moore, adapted by Lauren Lopez-Ibanez, student interns
The Alexander Hamilton Scholars Program – a dual degree partnership between NC State’s CHASS International Studies program and Poole College of Management – includes a mentor program that helps to connect students from different cultures and allows them to share experiences.
Each semester, Hamilton Scholars share their time and experience with foreign students who have come to NC State as study abroad students, helping them integrate more naturally into American culture.The Hamilton Scholars served as mentors to 23 international students at NC State in fall 2010 and 13 are serving in spring 2011, said Michelle Koehler, undergraduate academic advisor at the Poole College of Management.
“Students usually come from several different countries,” Koehler said. This spring, there are four students from Australia, three from France, two from Mexico, and one student from each Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and Fiji. The students are paired with their Hamilton Scholar mentors based on common majors and interests, she said.
The international students get introduced to their mentors during a “meet and greet” at the start of the each semester. Mentors then are available to their mentees throughout the semester for questions. They also invite their mentees to the Hamilton Scholars’ events. Last fall (’10) Hamilton Scholars hosted a Taste of Carolina – a private tour of selected Raleigh restaurants. Previously, the students attended an NC State baseball game and tailgate.
About 20 Hamilton Scholars are now volunteering to mentor students each semester. Chris Prosser, Hamilton Scholars’ vice president, has participated several times in the program and is currently mentoring Nikolai Senst, a student from Germany.
Koelher said the mentoring program “was such a positive experience they (Hamilton Scholars) are wanting to do it again.”