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Volume 13, Edition 4: January/February 2014

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INTERLINK: News and Announcements

Fall 2, 2013 End-of-Term Ceremony
INTERLINK’s Fall 2, 2013 end-of-term ceremony took place on December 13, 2013. The ceremony began with an opening speech by one of the graduating students, Rawan Sendi (Saudi Arabia), and was followed by a warm welcome from INTERLINK’s director, Dr. Brad Teague. During the ceremony, several awards were presented, including the Perfect-Attendance Awards, “Hardest-Working Student” Awards, Module Participation Awards, and the Outstanding Student Award, which was awarded to graduate Yanan Liu (China). Departing and graduating students also received special recognition. The ceremony was closed by another graduate, Feras Abdat (Saudi Arabia). We would like to congratulate the following graduates:

INTERLINK students Rawan Sendi (Saudi Arabia, left) and Hibah Almusallam (Saudi Arabia, right) with INTERLINK instructor Sarah Love at the Fall 2, 2013 end-of-term ceremony

  • Feras Abdat (Saudi Arabia)
  • Abdulaziz Albawardi (Saudi Arabia)
  • Ibrahim Alsheheil (Saudi Arabia)
  • Ahmed Bin Afif (Saudi Arabia)
  • Suhayb Khuqayr (Saudi Arabia)
  • Rajani Laxetti (India) - matriculated at UNCG (graduate student)
  • Longyu Li (China) - matriculated at UNCG (undergraduate student)
  • Yibo Li (China) - matriculated at UNCG (undergraduate student)
  • Wenchao Liang (China) - matriculated at UNCG (undergraduate student)
  • Yanan Liu (China)
  • Rawan Sendi (Saudi Arabia)
  • Onelda Shaqiri (Albania) - matriculated at UNCG (graduate student)
  • Hilal Thaibah (Saudi Arabia)
  • Ruojun Zhao (China) - matriculated at UNCG (undergraduate student)

Nine of the fourteen graduates plan to continue their studies at UNCG in the Spring 2014 semester.

INTERLINK welcomes new and returning students during orientation week. From left to right: Lynn Bergschneider (INTERLINK instructor), Bandar Aljuaid (returning, Saudi Arabia), Jianfang Chen (returning, China), Nhi Nu Xuan Ton (new, Vietnam), Zexuan Wang (new, China), Paula Vives Millan (new, Panama), and Ahmad Shesha (returning, Saudi Arabia)

Spring 1, 2014 Session
As we bid some students farewell, we welcome others. The Spring 1, 2014 session began on January 6, 2014, with a two-day orientation. INTERLINK welcomed 38 new students from 10 countries, including Chile, China, Colombia, Iraq, Oman, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Twenty-four of these students entered with conditional admission to UNCG. The program currently serves 138 international students total—a record number!

INTERLINK Programs and Volunteer Opportunities
INTERLINK continues to sponsor two programs on campus. The Conversation-Partners Program connects INTERLINK students with UNCG faculty, staff, and students for informal conversation and cross-cultural learning. In the Learning Exchange and Assistance Program (LEAP), UNCG community members are paired with INTERLINK students in order to provide them with extra academic and linguistic support. Please contact Huda Al-Zurfi at hkabdnoo@uncg.edu for more information.

New Mind Education: News and Announcements

New student Shaodong Tao demonstrates proper hot pot etiquette

Sharing food can be a great way to cross cultural boundaries, and since November, New Mind Education has hosted two events that have promoted community and cultural exchange through sharing traditional Western and Eastern cuisine. In late November, the staff of New Mind Education and Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, a UNCG student group, hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For the New Mind students, the meal was a wholly new experience; this was not only their first Thanksgiving dinner but also their first celebration of a major American holiday. As they enjoyed this American tradition, the students from New Mind and Chi Alpha formed new friendships and shared a little bit about their cultures with one another.

To celebrate the beginning of the semester, the arrival of new students, and to combat the cold, New Mind also hosted a traditional Chinese hot pot soup party for its students and new friends in January. Hot pot is one of the most popular winter dishes in China. Vegetables, meat, and noodles are cooked “to order” in a pot of broth, and, once everything is cooked, diners are able to choose which items they would like to eat from the pot. Since hot pot is a very communal style of dining, it was a great way for new and returning students to get to know one another. At the end of this month, New Mind is planning another event with Chi Alpha to celebrate the Chinese New Year and usher in the year of the Horse.

Susanne Martin, Lead Advisor for New Mind Education

We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Susanne Martin, who is our new Lead Advisor for New Mind Education at UNCG. Susanne was drawn to New Mind because she is passionate about working with international students and helping students develop intercultural skills and understanding. Susanne brings a wealth of experience to the position, as she has worked as an ESL teacher both at the college level and with Guilford and Forsyth County school systems. She also taught ESL as a librarian. In her spare time, she operates a small printing press out of her home, making paper, prints, and limited edition letterpress books. Please take a moment to welcome Susanne to the team and introduce yourself to her when you see her!

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