Mary Baldwin University welcomes international students in all its undergraduate and graduate programs and is committed to providing a positive experience for them, both academically and culturally. International students contribute greatly to a campus culture of global engagement at Mary Baldwin.
- International students will be assigned an academic advisor to assist with course selection, choosing a major, and planning to complete a degree. Once the student chooses a major, she will be assigned an academic advisor from her field of study.
- Mary Baldwin’s English Department offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in both semesters of every academic year.
- New international students at Mary Baldwin University enroll in a special section of Mary Baldwin 101: Introduction to College each fall, focused on the special needs international students may have adapting to U.S. college life.
- International students often find the tutoring and peer mentor services provided by the Learning Skills Center and the Writing Center to be very helpful.
- In addition to an academic advisor, all international students will have a staff advisor, usually the Director of International Programs.
- International students arriving in the fall participate in a special two-day orientation program that immediately precedes the general orientation for all new students. The purpose of orientation is to help students become more familiar with the campus, its services, and the local community.
- International students are assigned an “Mary Baldwin Ambassador” when they arrive. Mary Baldwin Ambassadors are students in their sophomore, junior, or senior years who have participated in study abroad programs or who have substantial interest in cross-cultural learning, international affairs, and foreign cultures. Mary Baldwin Ambassadors act as cultural, campus, and community liaisons for international students and scholars at Mary Baldwin University for one year. Their goal is to help the international visitors adjust to campus life and residence halls, become familiar with Staunton and local surroundings, integrate socially, and learn about classroom and academic expectations at Mary Baldwin University.
- International students will receive an International Student Handbook (in addition to the regular student handbook) with information about academic support services, housing, dining, student life, transportation, shopping, community resources, worship, visa and immigration issues, emergency contacts, and other relevant subjects. The handbook is also posted at the website for international student admissions to help students prepare for the transition to Mary Baldwin.
- Members of the Mary Baldwin University community can volunteer to act as local hosts, or “International Friends,” to international students. International Friends — individuals, couples, or families with children — will invite students to participate in at least two activities per semester, such as family meals, holiday celebrations, shopping trips, or visits to cultural sites. When possible, they will also help with airport transportation and housing during vacations.
- International students frequently need to shop for room furnishings and get to airports, bus and train stations. They will receive a Drivers Roster with the names and phone numbers of Mary Baldwin community members who, when available, agree to transport international students and scholars for a nominal fee (based on the rate for travel reimbursement approved by the business office).