Destination 2008: Global Students Gather at the INI

August 27, 2008

This semester, the Information Networking Institute (INI) kicked off the first ever Carnegie Mellon orientation to bring together students from its global locations. Over 140 students from the INI's programs in Silicon Valley; Athens, Greece; Kobe, Japan; and Aveiro and Lisbon, Portugal joined Pittsburgh students for the 10-day orientation.

"Destination 2008" began on Thursday, August 21, with two days of presentations by INI faculty and staff, including talks by Dena Haritos Tsamitis, Director of the INI. Other events included campus tours, a class motto writing contest, and cultural immersion sessions.

"I thought the orientation was extensive and left no question unanswered," said Alain Kajangwe, an incoming Master of Science in Information Technology student from Rwanda. "I say this because in my previous orientations in the other U.S. institutions I attended, we never had an orientation where everything from academics, immigration rules and security issues, to making new friends were addressed to such an extent."

Over the weekend, students were able to explore Pittsburgh. One sign of the event's success, a gathering of over 30 students came together spontaneously to socialize and share dishes of cuisine from their home countries.

"The Carnegie Mellon experience encompasses more than a high quality and rigorous education," said Ms. Tsamitis. "Destination 2008 is an opportunity to include our students enrolled at our international locations in the unique cultural, interdisciplinary and co-curricular aspects of the student experience that we simply can't replicate at our locations around the world."

International students are currently attending classes with Pittsburgh students during the first week of the semester. A highlight of Destination 2008 will be the boat cruise scheduled for Thursday evening, August 28, on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, which includes dinner, live entertainment and international dancing.

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