The recent international graduation ceremony recognized and celebrated the achievements of nine exchange students. The annual event caps the students’ time on campus, and allows administrators and faculty to share with the visitors a fond farewell.
“The ceremony is a bittersweet time for our students as well as for me personally,” said Dr. Roopa Rawjee, director of international student services.
She and the staff of the Minnock Center for International Engagement work with the students from the day they apply to come to BSU to their arrival on campus, and then support them throughout their time on campus. This close working relationship builds particularly strong bonds, which were celebrated at the ceremony.
Dr. Rawjee said exchange students often face several challenges.
“International students, especially those who come to us for short-term exchanges, take a very big risk by travelling to a foreign land where often, they don’t know anyone,” she said. “They place their trust in us, work hard, embrace all the different learning experiences that we provide, yearn for their loved ones back home, and often endure hardships that they do not easily reveal.”
The ceremony provides an excellent capstone for both students and staff.
“We celebrate, but we are sad to see them leave us and return home. This ceremony allows us to have a special celebration amongst people who have supported their journey at BSU and we treasure these memories,” Dr. Rawjee said. (Story by John Winters, photo by student Erin O’Leary, University News)