International students will be on the hunt today

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | August 14, 2013

Students check clues during last year's event.

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Students check clues during last year's event.
If you're walking about campus on your lunch hour today and someone comes up to you to ask directions, answer quickly -- they may be on a deadline.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, approximately 50 new UNMC students, taking part in the international student orientation program, will be on a scavenger hunt.

They'll be looking for cafeterias, academic offices, the financial aid office and other locations. And they will be carrying a brightly colored sheet of green paper -- the list of landmarks designed to help familiarize them with the sprawling UNMC campus.

"The scavenger hunt has been designed to help them find offices or things that are interesting or useful to them, that they'll need in their first semester of being on campus," said Danielle Dohrmann, who is coordinating the scavenger hunt.

It is the second year for the event, which was designed to replace a formal campus tour.

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Success! Students find one of the items on the list during last year's orientation event.
"It was one of the activities the students enjoyed most," Dohrmann said.

As the students are new to campus, they may become lost or misdirected. They are given a campus map, and volunteers are stationed at scavenger hunt destinations throughout the campus.

"We are hoping that they will be comfortable asking people for help -- after all, being helpful is a Nebraska trait," said Cheryl Thompson, Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor of student affairs.

Last year, there was a prize offered, Dohrmann said.

"The students took that seriously, and it was very competitive," she said. "Some of the groups were running to find all the places.

"I was surprised how competitive it was, so I am going to play that down this year."

The event is part of a larger effort to support UNMC's strategic plan to increase globalization and international partnerships by supporting international students, such as the new Ambassadors Program and the student help line.

"We can't bring more international people on campus -- for fellowships, or professional development or as students -- without having stronger support services," she said. "We will be expanding our support in the future to not just students but new staff members and employees."

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