World map with south pole at the top

IPOP [online] 2020

For new international & global nomad students

Who said north is up? The world, like a ball, has no top. Top is a matter of habit. International education offers an opportunity to see things from a different point of view!

International Pre-Orientation Program [online]

IPOP is designed for students coming from outside of the U.S., as a supplement to New Student Orientation. The IPOP mentors, your amigos (which is Spanish for ‘friends’), and the OISA staff will be valuable companions on your Grinnell journey — even in the midst of a global pandemic. IPOP [online] 2020 will run from Monday, Sept. 21, through Friday, Oct. 30.

Watch IPOP [online] from the OISA’s Grinnellshare page (login required).

You can watch the prerecorded sessions each week, prior to your weekly synchronous meeting with your IPOP mentor and amigos. Watch your @grinnell.edu account for details.

  • Monday, Sept. 21 — #YouAreWelcomeHere
  • Monday, Sept. 28 — Academic Success
  • Monday, Oct. 5 — F-1 Visa Regulations
  • Monday, Oct. 12 — Adulting 101
  • Monday, Oct. 19 — More Culture • Less Shock
  • Monday, Oct. 26 — YoU.S.A. Crash Course

The OISA will continue to post Additional Information for International Students, including a section for new students specially. We hope you have been (or soon will be) successful in securing a visa appointment.

We look forward to meeting you online this fall, and in person as soon as possible!

2020 IPOP Mentors

  • Rachael Arkell

    Rachael Arkell ’22

    Rachael is a French major with a linguistics concentration from Winchester, U.K. Before coming to Grinnell, she attended Alton College in the U.K., and can speak English, French, and small amounts of many other languages. As a Grinnellian, Rachael has participated in course-embedded travel to Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and hopes to study abroad in Paris next spring. Her favorite place she has traveled to is the island city of Le Mont Saint Michel in France: “The architecture is magical, its narrow, winding streets crammed with bustling shops (which inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter), leads steeply up to the abbey at the top.” Rachael enjoys arts and crafts with friends and keeping up with world news, and is involved in the Oratorio Society and Friends of International Students (FIS) at Grinnell, stating that her host family has “widened my experience of Grinnell from the college bubble to the community.”

  • Justin Chen

    Justin Chen ’21

    Justin is an anthropology major from Hsinchu, Taiwan (ROC), where he attended Hsinchu American School for secondary school. He speaks Mandarin and English, and considers Auburn, Alabama, to be his favorite place he has lived because of the college football games there. Justin loves to swim and is a member of the Swim and Dive team at Grinnell. He also has a host family through the Friends of International Students (FIS) program. His favorite quote is: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart” — Helen Keller.

  • Momi Fukushima

    Momiji Fukushima ’22

    Momiji (Momi) is an intended chemistry major from Ishinomaki, Japan. She attended secondary school in São Paulo, Brazil before coming to Grinnell, and speaks Japanese and English and is learning Portuguese and Korean. She has lived in six different countries! In her spare time, Momi likes collecting earrings and cooking Japanese food with her friends, as well as sharing Japanese culture with the Grinnell community. She is co-president of the Japanese Cultural Association (JCA) and has been a part of the Cultural Attaché Program. Momi’s favorite place in the world is her hometown of Ishinomaki: “It is next to the sea, and the seafood is very good there! Also, because it's a small town, the people are very warm and kind.”

  • Fitsum Getahun

    Fitsum Getahun ’21

    Fitsum (Fit) is a biology and history double major with a neuroscience concentration from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He speaks Amharic and English, and attended secondary school at Saint Joseph School in Addis Ababa. Fit’s favorite place he has traveled to is Betre Maryam Island, Buffalo River, Doha, and he enjoys cooking, cinema, and traveling. At Grinnell, he is a student researcher, Leadership Council member, and a part of the African and Caribbean Student Union (ACSU). Fit also has a Friends of International Students (FIS) host family: “They have both been an important part of my Grinnell experience, taking me to various locations around town, guiding me through my class selection process during my first semester, hosting me for various American holidays, cooking with me to try and add more Ethiopian flavor to their diet. They are an amazing host family and have made my stay here all the more enjoyable.” Fit also challenges anyone to hold a conversation longer than him using only song lyrics!

  • Vidush Goswami

    Vidush Goswami ’21

    Vidush is a computer science and political science double major, and attended Army Public School in Noida, India, for secondary school. He considers home as both New Delhi, India, and Rotorua, New Zealand, and speaks Hindi and English. At Grinnell, Vidush is involved in the Cultural Attaché Program, Student Government Association (SGA), South Asian Student Organization (SASO), and will be the 2020–21 International Student Organization (ISO) secretary. He enjoys organizing cultural events on campus, drumming in the Freesound room, singing, pretending to know how to dance, and meeting every dog that comes his way. Vidush also had an exciting externship during his first year in Los Angeles, Calif., with a Grinnell alum working for Amazon Studios! Growing up, he lived in a diverse range of places all over India, but feels the most impactful was living in a remote village in Kashmir, surrounded by the mountains in a tiny village community. Another favorite is his current home, Rotorua, New Zealand: “It's a beautiful little town on a lake, and New Zealand is essentially a giant postcard.”

  • Shirley Jwa

    Shirley Jwa ’22

    Shirley is a biochemistry major, and considers both Seoul, South Korea, and Bellevue, Washington, U.S., as her home. She attended Newport High School in Washington, U.S. for secondary school, and speaks Korean, English, and some Mandarin and Spanish. In her free time, Shirley enjoys playing the piano, singing karaoke, and traveling. At Grinnell, she is the current president of the Korean Student Association (KSA), plays water polo, and is a part of the Cultural Attaché Program. Shirley’s favorite places that she has lived or visited include Seoul and Yeosu in South Korea, Hanoi, Vietnam, Kyoto, Japan, and San Diego, California, U.S. A quote that she loves is: “Even when you think it’s too late, it is the best time to start.”

  • Sriyash Kadiyala

    Sriyash Kadiyala ’21

    Sriyash is a political science and economics double major from Kolkata, India. He attended La Martiniere for Boys for secondary school, and speaks Hindi and English. At Grinnell, Sriyash is a member of the Political Science SEPC and Alternative Break Board, is a writing mentor, sits on the committee for planning TEDx Grinnell College, and has been a community advisor (CA). He also has had an externship in Nuremburg, Germany, and studied abroad for a semester in London, U.K. Some of Sriyash’s hobbies include watching airline videos, reading non-fiction books, listening to Feynman lectures, and swimming. Some fun facts about Sriyash are that he physically bumped into three British cabinet ministers while interning at Parliament last fall, and has done sixteen consecutive hours of improv for a fundraiser!

  • Saule Keliauskaite

    Saule Keliauskaite ’23

    Saule is an intended economics major from Vilnius, Lithuania, and speaks Lithuanian, German, English, and beginner Russian. For secondary school, she attended Vilnius Lyceum, and is currently a part of the Global Learning Program (GLP) at Grinnell College. Also at Grinnell, Saule is involved in the Debate Union, representing the College in tournaments throughout the U.S., as well as the Pioneer Investment Club and Iowa Caucus Economy tour. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, cycling outdoors, hiking, and visiting art exhibitions and museums. Saule’s favorite place in the world is her hometown, Vilnius. However, she has also enjoyed traveling to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, and Worthing in Europe, and Seattle, Chicago, and New York City in the U.S. Saule’s favorite quote is: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” Oscar Wilde.

  • Letícia do Valle Amaral Monteiro

    Letícia do Valle Amaral Monteiro ’23

    Letícia is an intended theatre and dance and gender, women’s and sexuality studies double major from São Paulo, Brazil. She speaks Portuguese, English, and beginner Spanish, and attended Colégio São Luís, São Paulo for secondary school. Letícia’s favorite place in the world is Maresias, a beach located on São Paulo’s northern coastline: “I could spend hours swimming in the ocean, eating açaí under cloudless skies, and nestling my feet into the warm sand.” At Grinnell, she is currently a part of the Global Learning Program (GLP) and has been extremely involved in theatre. In the 2019–20 season, she played Tiresias in The Burial at Thebes and Zuzu in Dance Nation. Letícia is also a member of the Student Organization of Latinxs (SOL) and Friends of International Students (FIS). When speaking of her FIS host family, she says: “They are one of the best things that happened to me at Grinnell; I could not be more grateful for having such loving, joyful people as my FIS host family.”

  • Puravi Nath

    Puravi Nath ’21

    Puravi is a psychology major from Kolkata and Bangalore, India. She attended The Heritage School in Kolkata for secondary school, and speaks Hindi, English, and some Bengali and Punjabi. Puravi loves going to the beach, and lists Bali and Mauritius as some of her favorite places she has visited. Her hobbies include doodling, singing, makeup, dog videos, and portrait photography. She also has a passion for food from around the world. At Grinnell, Puravi has been involved in Friends of International Students (FIS), the Cultural Attaché Program, the South Asian Student Organization (SASO), and the International Student Organization (ISO). She will serve as ISO president this year! Puravi was also the international admissions intern 2019–20 and has been a student senator. Her favorite quote is: “Whatever energy you give will come back to you. What you wish to have, cause another to have. The Universe, by the law, always finds the best way to give back energy. It is a magical process.” David Cameron Gikandi.

  • Antonella Diaz Rodriguez

    Antonella Diaz Rodriguez ’23

    Antonella is an undecided major from Quito, Ecuador, interested in pursuing education licensure, and speaks Spanish, English, and beginner Arabic. She attended Academia Cotopaxi in Quito for secondary school, but has lived all over the world! She lists Canelones, Uruguay; Muscat, Oman; Cairo, Egypt; and Quito, Ecuador, as her favorite places she has lived. At Grinnell, Antonella is involved in the Latin American Ensemble, works at the Grinnell College Preschool, and was the 2020 Fischlowitz Travel Fellowship recipient. She enjoys dancing as well, which she participates in through the Student Organization of Latinxs (SOL). Antonella also participates in the Friends of International Student Program, saying that her host family has “become like a second family that is constantly checking in on me. I really feel like I have somewhere to go whenever I feel homesick or need some advice. Overall, the experience has been amazing.”

  • Austin Yu

    Xinmiao “Austin” Yu ’23

    Austin is an intended physics and computer science double major from Guangzhou, China. He attended the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University for secondary school, and speaks Mandarin and English. At Grinnell, Austin is involved in the Chinese Student Association (CSA), Outdoor Recreation Club, and Friends of International Students (FIS). He also enjoys photography, specializing in landscape and portrait. Two of his favorite places in the world are Chongqing, China and his hometown of Guangzhou. Austin’s favorite quote is: “Pure pragmatism cannot imagine a bold future. Pure idealism cannot get anything done” Richard M. Nixon.

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