International Orientation

Hello, Class of 2023! Welcome to Stevens! My name is Neev Vora and I am one of this fall’s Peer Leaders. I am a junior studying Quantitative Finance (which isn’t as nerdy as it sounds) and I am from Mumbai, India. It’s truly an honor to welcome you all to our awesome community. This blog post will cover what international students can expect from International Orientation, and how you can make the most of it.

While the transition to college can feel incredibly nerve-wracking to any new student, it can be especially scary for international students. If you’re reading this and you are an international student, I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that you will be fine. As soon as you enter Hoboken for the first time, all your fears will start to disappear, and soon, this cozy city will forge a place in your heart as your home away from home. The Stevens community, which includes the staff, teaching faculty, and especially your fellow classmates, will all help you acclimatize to the new environment you’ll find yourself in.

One of the ways in which Stevens will help you do so is by conducting an International Orientation for all international students. During International Orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet all of the other international students and a few of the peer leaders. They will be the first (of many!) friends that you’ll make in college, and these friendships will have the potential to last for a lifetime. As international students from a diverse coterie of countries, remember that you all have completely different backgrounds and life experiences. There is a wealth of knowledge that you can grasp from each other, from various cultures, traditions, languages, mannerisms and perspectives that teach you about the harmony in diversity and the comfort of knowing that you are not alone in your differences. Introduce yourself with passion and conviction. Talk to the quiet person sitting in the corner. Laugh with the boisterous student who seems to draw a crowd. Keep broadening your comfort zone, and every time you do so, keep stepping outside of it.  Include everyone in your fun. This is what the college experience is about: connecting with new people with different backgrounds and embracing the similarities and differences between you. This is how you make Stevens your home.

During International Orientation, you’ll also be blasted with a ton of information about the resources that Stevens has to offer you, and not only as an international student. You will learn about all of the remarkable clubs and organizations that we have on campus. You will hear about resources that you can access for academic help (such as the walk-in tutoring center or office hours), or for your mental and physical health (pro tip: trying to swim in the Hudson River, as fun as it sounds, will probably end up messing with both). If you ever feel confused by what you are being presented with, feel free to ask questions! Never forget that every single person around you is here to help you throughout your tenure as a Stevens student. Don’t ever feel awkward about asking for help from any student or faculty member because we are all here to support each other. At our core, we are a tight-knit community, and we will always support you and treat you like family, because at Stevens, you are family. In between all of the weirdly-named icebreakers and slideshows, your International Orientation will help you start building your own community here at Stevens so that every step you take will make you feel at home.

My own International Orientation was a blast! I made friends with students from Japan, Vietnam, Germany, China, Australia, South Korea and Belgium. Every single person that I met was highly courageous, honest, amicable and had worked hard to get where they are. They have all inspired me to become a better version of myself, and I will always cherish the time that I have spent with them, along with the time I will spend with them over the next few years.

Last year, I was one of the Peer Leaders in charge of International Orientation, and I had a lot of fun meeting everyone who had travelled so far to join our college! It was spread out over two days. On the first day, the Peer Leaders, along with other staff members from various Stevens departments, advised students on academics and immigration policies (which was about as interesting as the day to day routine of a cat). In the afternoon, we all went on a tour of the campus (I learned how to walk backwards for hours!) and the picturesque city of Hoboken. The following day, we all went to New York City, and were joined by other new students who were participating in the City Life Pre-Orientation. We visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and had a guided tour of the city. We ended the day with a delicious meal at an Italian restaurant and headed back to campus to rest and prepare for the rest of Orientation.

In conclusion, come to International Orientation ready to make friends and have the time of your life! I can’t wait to meet all of you! Have a great summer, spend a lot of time with your friends from home, and get hyped for the next phase in the roller-coaster ride of life.

First-Year Orientation

You’re packing to go off to school after a wonderful summer off, and you’re checking your email to see when exactly you have to be on campus. You know that classes start on Monday, August 26th, but – what’s this? Stevens wants you to be moved in the Wednesday before that? That’s five days that you just lost from your summer vacation! What on earth could be so necessary that Stevens would ask you to come to campus five days before classes start? Why, First-Year Orientation, of course!

Howdy, future Ducks! I’m Luke Langner, a Stevens student from Jefferson Township, New Jersey. I’m going into my Senior year as a Mechanical Engineering major, and I’m here to tell you a bit about First-Year Orientation at Stevens.

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Adjusting to a new life at school can be very tough, and orientation is designed to help make that adjustment easier. Now, I’m not going to lie: orientation is intense. You’ll move into your dorm on Wednesday morning, check in, grab lunch, and then get whisked off onto a tour of the beautiful Stevens grounds with your orientation group. You’ll be grouped up with a bunch of other new students that are in your major, and a Peer Leader who shares your major as well. You’ll spend the rest of the week after your tour with your group learning about Stevens, Hoboken, the surrounding area, and everything that will be available to you as a Stevens student.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities during orientation to learn about Stevens, but the real magic kicks in with the friendships that you make during orientation. You’ll spend lots of meal times with your orientation group, along with different activities, seminars, and events where you’ll get to know different people at Stevens that you’ll see throughout your Stevens career. Who knows, you might end up meeting someone during orientation that you’ll know for the rest of your life!

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First-Year Orientation and your first year at Stevens may seem daunting, but orientation is guaranteed to be a great kick start to the semester! Get pumped, and welcome to the flock!

 

Living With Roommates

Hey! My name is David Delatorre and I am a 2/4 Music Technology Major. So far, I have enjoyed most aspects of college life including living on Stevens beautiful Hoboken campus. Before I came to Stevens, I had spent the majority of my life living at home with my family so I had no experience with roommates. I was nervous about transitioning and the concept of leaving my comfortable home in Central Jersey (which does exist) to share a small room with someone who I have never met before worried me. Since I did not know anyone going to Stevens, I was assigned a roommate randomly. Looking back on it, I can see why that may have been a risky decision but it all worked out in the end because my roommate and I became close friends. After this past year, I can confidently say that any living situation can work out if you follow a few basic principles.

David

For starters, it is always a good idea to respect your roommate’s privacy. I know privacy can be difficult when you must share a small space, but make sure you set boundaries with your roommate and discuss what you are and are not comfortable with.

Second, always ask your roommate for permission before borrowing something that doesn’t belong to you. Ignoring this detail can create friction over time between roommates. When in doubt, make the safe choice and ask your roommate first. 

Third, warn your roommate before inviting friends over. The most annoying thing in the world is trying to study or sleep when people are having fun and playing loud music right behind you. You have every right to hang out with your friends whenever you want but, out of respect, you must tell your roommate it is happening in advance. 

Fourth, switch off every month on cleaning duties to keep things tidy and fair. Use common sense when following this rule because you shouldn’t expect your roommate to make your bed or pick up your dirty laundry when it’s their turn to clean.   

Lastly, treat your roommate how you want them to treat you. It may sound cliche, but when you find yourself in a small room day after day with a stranger, respect and communication are key characteristics to enjoying a successful relationship. 

Living Off-Campus and Commuting

Living Off-Campus Is What You Make Of It

Welcome! I’m Dylan Moon, a junior in the Science, Technology & Society program, pursuing two minors. I hail from the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I acclimated to the scenery shift in an on-campus dorm, but have since lived off-campus.

At the start of sophomore year, I found an Airbnb in Union City. My first order of business was to buy a bike, which I found on Craigslist. A train ride to Jersey City with $120 in cash, and I was cruising on a royal blue racing biking from the 1980s. If I booked it, I could make the one-way trip from campus to my apartment (or vice versa) in a little over 10 minutes. I’d get to campus early, if for no other reason than to let my sweat evaporate over breakfast in Pierce Dining Hall.

I will never forget starting my days with the occasional detour to the waterfront. On a clear day, the sun reflecting off the water, the wind on my face, riding along, I could imagine no better commute. I wouldn’t have had that experience living on campus. Nor would I have had the clarity of perspective that comes with leaving campus every evening.

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The second semester, I was invited to 538 Washington, Stevens-Leased housing, by an RA I became friends with through Student Government. While I enjoyed living in Union City, biking every day, this made life easier. Living now only a 7-minute walk from campus, I didn’t need to pack everything I might need for the day. It was easier to stay on campus late for clubs and events. The winter months are also brutal. Riding my bike in the sleet, snow, and cold would have been rough, particularly on days needing formal attire. Already at the end of the first semester, I found myself taking public transit due to weather. And once, when snow halted the bus schedule, I slept on a friend’s on-campus dorm floor.

Living at 538 Washington with two great roommates was an experience I’ll hold with me. Every evening, I still benefited from leaving the Stevens bubble. But being closer, I enjoyed more time for friends and extracurriculars, pledged a fraternity, and felt closer with the Stevens community. The same would have been possible in other nearby apartments, including non-Stevens-Leased.

No matter where you live, it can be a great experience if you find ways to enjoy it. When I told people I lived three miles away, I would get sympathetic responses, as though it were a hassle. If your expectation is to roll out of bed and land in your first class of the morning, it is. But if you enjoy the wind, sun, fresh air, and a healthy heart, like I do, I could hardly have lived somewhere better. That said, having great roommates closer to campus came with its benefits. But it’s hard to say if one was better. I made the most of both. And wherever you decide to live, I hope you do too.

 

Commuting at Stevens

Hello! My name is Lukas Kolarek and I’m a 4/4 Environmental Engineering student at Stevens. I’ve been commuting since my first year and I can’t think of a more accessible college around. About 36% of students live off campus, with commuters making up a large part of that number. The education at Stevens is amazing, and you’ll quickly fall in love with the area.  Hoboken is in a prime location for all methods of transportation whether it be car, bus, train, and light rail. If you’re a driver, there’s accommodation for parking in the 8th Street lot given you have the appropriate hang tag (which can be obtained from the Howe Building). In addition, there are other locations on campus you can park. New Jersey Transit buses stop one block away from Stevens and Hoboken Terminal is only about a 15 minute walk from campus. 

Lukas

If you have any doubts coming into Stevens as a commuter freshman year, there shouldn’t be any worries at all. There’s a place for everyone at Stevens and it’s easy to get hooked on campus involvement! The food in Hoboken is great, and you’ll find yourself wanting to try something new every day. Stevens isn’t the type of college where you’ll just travel straight to class and home. On the down time between classes, there’s plenty of places on campus and Hoboken to hang out with friends. On top of that, New York is right around the corner with the PATH trains. You’ll never feel like you’re confined to one spot at Stevens.

Clubs and campus organizations will ensure that there’s never a dull moment for you here. The Commuter Student Union is one of these organizations and can help with any questions you have regarding your freshman year commuting experience. Coming onto campus freshman year, I had no idea what to expect. It was an entirely new environment which would make anyone nervous, but orientation week is definitely a time commuters should fully experience. Your PL’s will make you feel welcome and there’s a ton of people to meet and friends to make. It’s just what you need to kickoff freshman year!

Living On-Campus

by Akash Rana

It’s 7:45am. You just woke up. You also have an 8am class. But you have no worries since you live on one of the Stevens on-campus housing options. You can choose from several dorms at Stevens with rooms varying from doubles, triples, or even some quads, as well as two that have their own bathrooms in each room. One of the benefits of having a small campus size is that you can walk from one side of the campus, say Castle Point Hall, to the Babbio Center for your 8am math recitation in 15 minutes! Quick commute times relieve any stress of whether you will arrive on time since the only thing stopping you is your own two feet.

Another benefit of living on-campus is the convenience of having places right at your fingertips! Do you need to print an essay at the library? Just a 5-10-minute walk from anywhere on campus. Are you feeling hungry and want to grab a bite of food? Any of the three dining options on campus can also be reached in about 5-10 minutes. And that’s not to mention the surplus of vendors that are just a few blocks away on Washington Street! You can easily taste the biggest pizza of your life or anything else that your heart desires all located within walking distance!

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What better way to engage with your peers than living on campus? From simply passing by familiar faces each day, you begin to feel the tight-knit nature of being a part of the flock here at Stevens. Your stress easily fades just from seeing a friend passing by on the way to class. You won’t ever feel like just another student. At Stevens, you’ll be right at home.

Lastly, if you feel homesick, need advice, or just want someone to talk to, your Resident Assistant (RA) will be the best person to approach on-campus. They also run events so you can win different prizes and get to know other students! You’ll also have the chance to compete with the other dorm halls in the Annual Freshman Dodgeball Tournament so be prepared to get your game on!

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Living on campus has more perks than first meets the eye. Whether easily making your 8am recitation, grabbing a quick bite anywhere on campus, or bonding with the Stevens community, living on campus at Stevens is truly a blessing and a great experience that you won’t forget!

What is a “Peer Leader”?

My name is Kristine Pedersen and I’m a 5/5 Biology and Science Communication double major from New Hampshire. You might be wondering “What exactly is a Peer Leader and how can mine help me?” Well wonder no more! Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know to get the most out of your Orientation experience with the PLs.

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First and foremost, Peer Leaders are students just like all of you! We are representatives of different years, majors, and backgrounds. We serve as mentors and orientation leaders for all incoming students.

  1. Orientation

Our first role as Peer Leaders is to ensure everyone is moved in and ready for a fun and exciting Orientation! Each Peer Leader will be in contact with their students during the summer via email, and then on campus to welcome new students as they arrive. Peer Leaders also accompany Pre-Orientation programs as well. Once Orientation starts, Peer Leaders and their groups meet up for fun activities and informative meetings to help new students feel comfortable on campus and with what they can expect during the first semester of classes. That being said, in short, a Peer Leader is a student on campus that wants to make new students feel as comfortable and welcome as possible.

  1. During the fall semester

A Peer Leader’s role doesn’t end after Orientation. We are also in charge of holding group meetings during the fall semester, covering topics like scheduling and exam season. Peer Leaders are always a resource for new students and will be paired by majors, as closely as possible. This means that it’s very likely your Peer Leader will have gone through a very similar, if not the same, academic schedule as you, and also be able to guide you to others who can answer any other questions. Our goal as Peer Leaders during the fall semester is to continue to acclimate new students to Stevens and guide you all through your first semester. We are always a resource, whether it’s to answer academic questions, help navigate Hoboken, or whatever else you might be concerned about.

The Peer Leaders of 2019 are so excited to welcome all of you to Stevens! I hope you found this helpful and have a great rest of your summer!

Welcome to the Flock!

HHaileyi! My name is Hailey Tanner and I am the Peer Leader Coordinator this year! My hometown is Freehold, New Jersey and this is my second year being involved in orientation here at Stevens. I am currently a junior Chemical Engineering major acting as a lab assistant for research this summer (when I’m not planning orientation of course). I have been working alongside the Office of Undergraduate Student Life staff, our intern Bree, and many people all across campus to ensure that orientation brings a world of new friends, knowledge and fun to set you up for a successful first year at Stevens! 

Some things I am involved in outside of orientation include being President of the Women’s Club Soccer team and acting as Managing Editor for our campus’ online creative publication, RedShift. I have been a tutor for many first-year courses in the past, and do new things every year that you can all get involved in, too! I can’t wait to welcome you all to Stevens in August!

Breanna Kixmiller (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Hello everyone!  My name is Bree Kixmiller, and I am the summer intern at Stevens with the orientation program!  Currently, I am a graduate student at Iowa State University pursuing my M.Ed. in Student Affairs.  This summer, I will be helping at Peer Leader training, updating our orientation blogs and social media, and assisting Hailey with projects in the Office of Student Life!  I have greatly enjoyed my time at Stevens, and I am excited to see what the rest of the summer brings! Go Ducks!  

Here are a few ways to prepare for your Stevens journey and start off on the right foot in August!

  1. Connect with Us!  Peer Leader Blogs, First-Year Features, and other resources will be shared on our social media pages weekly!  We also invite you to join the “Stevens Institute of Technology Class of 2023” Facebook page to connect with others in your class.  Follow us for great information all summer long! 

Facebook: Stevens Students

Instagram: StevensStudents

Twitter: @StevensStudents

2. Join us for a webinar!  Office of Student Life staff and Peer Leaders will host informational webinars throughout the summer about academics, your college transition, and making the most of your first year.  You will receive emails inviting you to attend, so stay tuned!  

3. First-Year Read- This year’s common read for all first-year students is “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert.

  • You will receive a copy in the mail in mid-July, and it is expected you will have it read before orientation so you can engage in discussion over the content during that time.  
  • There will also be a flyer inside the book addressing a summer read contest! Please see this flyer for more details, and visit our resource guide for more information at: https://researchguides.stevens.edu/sixthextinction

4. Reach out if you need help!  If you have any questions throughout the summer about your transition to Stevens or orientation, let us know at htanner@stevens.edu or bkixmill@stevens.edu.  More information will also be added to www.stevens.edu/orientation throughout the summer as well!  

Have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you at Stevens!