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7 Ways International Students Create Community

Photo of several international students laughing and smiling in front of Hendricks Chapel on the Syracuse University Quad.
  • Syracuse University is a top choice for students from 120+ countries each year.
  • International students make lasting friendships and feel at home through activities and programming that foster community, celebrate heritage and encourage exploration.
  • There are many resources to help international students get settled and feel comfortable at Syracuse University and in the surrounding region.

The sense of community is something that I like best about being a Syracuse student. It has helped me build a home away from home.

Enrique Prejula ’23 (Philippines)
Enrique Prejula '23

Every year, thousands of international students arrive from all over the world to study at Syracuse University. Consistently ranked by the Open Doors report as among the top 40 American universities chosen by international students, they bring their global perspectives to a culturally diverse campus where they discover community, enjoy regional culture and create meaningful relationships with new friends.

Check out some of the many ways international students find their place and thrive at Syracuse University.

1. Joining a Student Group

Group photo of international students smiling and huddled together outside.

Syracuse boosts more than 300 student groups. These contribute to a vibrant campus culture and offer fantastic opportunities for meeting and making friends. Whether looking to connect with others of the same cultural heritage or meet peers with shared enthusiasm around particular interests, there’s a group out there that’s the right fit for every student.

2. Celebrating Traditions and Religious Holidays

Iman and Chaplain Amir Duric speaking to Muslim students in Hendricks Chapel.

The Syracuse community welcomes and honors faiths and cultural traditions from all around the world. In Hendricks Chapel, home to more than 25 religious and spiritual groups, students can observe with others of the same faith or in interfaith gatherings. And in Multicultural Affairs, students and staff develop programming to celebrate diversity and commemorate cultural traditions and heritage.

The sense of community is established before students even arrive in Syracuse. Once they matriculate, students are assigned peer advisors. This makes incoming students feel welcome.

Khushee Chauhan ’23 (India)
Khushee Chauhan '23

3. Getting Involved in Campus Fun

Group photo of students smiling and holding blow-up microphones and other props as part of a student activity.

Sometimes we all just need to relax and play! On the weekends, Orange After Dark offers safe, free or very low cost, late-night programming—like glow-in-the-dark roller-skating, game nights, movie theater takeovers and much more—to relieve stress, have a great time with friends new and old, and explore new places. At the Barnes Center at The Arch, there are opportunities to join fitness classes and participate in other wellness and recreation activities, including one of many intramural sports clubs.

It’s so easy to express interest in a club and go to meetings and come out with lifelong friends with shared interests.

Anna Terzaghi ’24 (Australia)
Anna Terzaghi '24

4. Going All Out for the Orange

Wide shot of the Syracuse University flag being waived by a student on game day in the JMA Wireless Dome.

You become part of the Orange family the minute you confirm your acceptance. As a student and eventually an alum, you are forever connected to a global network of Syracuse fans who are fiercely proud to be Orange. To really feel what this is all about, attend games in the JMA Wireless Dome—the Loud House—and don’t forget to wear your finest orange gear!

The environment is truly welcoming. I feel lucky to be an international student here because of the cultural diversity. I feel at home, and the University feels like family.

Giovanni Minicucci G’23 (left, Italy)
Giovanni Minicucci G'23 (left)

5. Celebrating our International Community

Wide shot of international students photographing as a turkey is being carved by a chef at the International Thanksgiving Dinner in the Schine Student Center.

One of the big events kicking off fall semester is the International Student Welcome Dinner during our new student orientation, Syracuse University Welcome. It’s a chance to connect with fellow incoming students from across the world. Then in November, Chancellor Kent Syverud and Dr. Ruth Chen host the annual International Thanksgiving Dinner, welcoming our international community to enjoy this American tradition. During the spring semester, the University community gathers to celebrate our richly diverse international community through food, art and culture at the International Festival.

Syracuse University is a convergence of multicultural perspectives, which is empowering for international students as a whole. I feel flourishing and belonging, and have connected with friends from all around the world within this community by attending various events, programs and workshops.

Qingyang Liu, doctoral student (China)
Qingyang Liu, doctoral student.

6. Exploring the Region

Photo of Otto ice skating with two students, all holding hands.

A great way to make New York state feel like home is to get out there and discover it for yourself! Go apple picking in the fall, snow tubing in the winter, and explore local parks in the summer. Whether you’re participating in an organized outing, or just heading out with friends, you’ll find there is lots to see and do throughout the seasons in the City of Syracuse, the Central New York region and beyond.

7. Connecting with Support Systems

Students talking at the international mix up event.

Settling into a new country is a process, but no one has to figure it out alone. Our international students take advantage of numerous resources that can help with every aspect of transitioning to Syracuse University. For example, at the Center for International Services students can connect with peer mentors, supportive groups and staff guidance. Schools and colleges offer a range of academic assistance, and resident advisors in residence halls and staff at the Barnes Center are great resources as well.

Through both the challenges and the triumphs of your Syracuse experience, the Orange community will be there with you every step of the way.

Whatever your passion is, you'll find it here—from entertainment to academics, there are unlimited resources and supportive faculty—Syracuse University has you covered!

David Ojo, doctoral student (Nigeria)
David Ojo, doctoral student
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Living in Central New York

Our campus overlooks the City of Syracuse in the heart of New York state. Discover amazing restaurants, historic architecture, nature and wildlife, the Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes and much more.

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International students welcome flags.

International Student Center

The Center for International Services is the resource for international students, scholars and their dependents on issues related to immigration status, employment, cultural, social and academic concerns which impact your success at Syracuse University.

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