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International Students Dinner

Monday, Aug. 29 — Union Ballroom

Good evening! It’s my pleasure to welcome all of you to Florida State University!

We are honored that you chose FSU to begin or continue your university education, and we hope you are feeling right at home here.

Although we are a large, research university, I think you will find our campus feels more like a tight-knit community. The faculty and staff are truly invested in student success, and I hope you know we are all here to encourage and support you as you pursue your academic goals.

You are among more than 550 new international students admitted to FSU this fall. That makes the total international student enrollment at FSU the highest in its history with over 2,000 students.

We have had nearly a 100 percent increase in just over 10 years — and that is without any comprehensive international marketing or recruiting. This shows us that the international students who have come before you have helped spread the word about FSU.

We have outstanding faculty, academic programs and research facilities. But your presence, as ambassadors of your countries, is key to helping us create a culturally rich learning environment essential to educating all students.

To the graduate students, I would like to say how glad we are that you are joining our outstanding graduate programs. We know you will make important contributions to our research activity.

Many of you will play the important part of assisting in classes, or even teaching classes for undergraduates. Others will serve on research teams and help FSU continue to maintain its designation as one of just two preeminent universities in the state of Florida.

To the undergraduates, including the exchange students and special certificate students, your presence and interaction in classes and on this campus will play a very important part in helping our domestic undergraduates — over 30,000 of them — to learn about other cultures.

Not everyone at FSU will have the opportunity to study abroad, participate in an exchange or even travel outside of the United States. But the interactions that will take place between you and other students — whether in class, at social events or just in casual conversation — will help everyone become more culturally and globally aware.

So, thank you in advance for the contributions you will make to FSU. We’re so glad you are here, and I look forward to seeing you around campus!