Seven current CJ students and two CJ alumni acted as true ambassadors as they spent their last Friday of their summer break back at CJ welcoming new international students to school.
“The orientation was to give the new international students an initial overview of the building and of our community,” shared Brett Chmiel ’02, Director of Admissions. “It allowed them to meet some of the other students in a more intimate setting without experiencing too much culture shock.”
This school year will mark a first for the international student program. Chmiel said throughout the year, the program will be evaluated often by community members in order to make decisions on the coming years of the program. The five current students will graduate and earn an official diploma from Chaminade Julienne.
The new students are from China and South Korea. Some traveled more than 7,000 miles to come to CJ. The four new male students are freshmen, while the one new female student is a sophomore.
“I feel excited and very happy to be an American student,” said David Chen ‘19.
“Even though they grew up on the other side of the Earth, I can definitely see a lot of similarities with the new students and CJ students,” expressed Tommy Krug ‘16.
Krug said he felt confident the new students would be embraced by the entire CJ community.
"It may take some adjusting, but just like any freshman student, they’ll do just fine," Krug shared.
Chmiel agreed. "Because of our Marianist and Notre Dame heritage, and the guidance of Father Chaminade and St. Julie, we are caretaking the mission with these new students by giving our current students a global perspective of faith and justice for needs of others. We are going to prepare them for college and we want them to fit the profile of a CJ graduate which is that of a life-long learner."
Each new student went through an interview process with a group of CJ faculty and staff. During his interview, Chen played the piano, something that stuck out in the mind of Tony Ricciuto '74 when he also greeted the new students on Friday.
Chen acknowledged that while coming to school in the U.S. may be an adjustment, "I know I can do this, and friends and teachers will help me."
"We think the new students are going to enhance the building for us," said Chmiel. "They’re going to enhance the community by increasing the diversity of our student body and allowing our students to be more global minded."