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Sunday, September 26, 2021

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Elaine and Juli Pascual at Transfer Student Orientation. Elaine and Juli Pascual at Transfer Student Orientation.
 


Joining The Aztec Family

More than 14,000 new students and their families participated in the 2015 New Student and Parent Orientation.
By Mallory Black and Kimberly Lamke Calderon
 

“Take comfort in knowing your relationship with your student is changing for the better. Your role is to help by coaching, not disrupting, your child’s college experience.”

With the fall semester upon us, San Diego State University's Division of Student Affairs has wrapped up New Student and Parent Orientation, during which more than 14,000 new students and their families were welcomed to campus with open arms.

Over the course of three weeks, incoming freshmen and transfer students began planning their journeys at SDSU.

Each student was guided through the class registration process and learned about resources available to them across campus, and the Office of New Student and Parent Programs helped lead parents and family members through the university experience.

From Parent to Coach

A key part of orientation at SDSU is helping new Aztec parents be aware of what to expect as their child heads off to college.

Freshman Jerry Nacorda, a mechanical engineering major from Los Angeles, attended orientation with his parents, Joseph and Carmina, in July. Both said they were impressed with the level of engagement they felt every step of the way.

"Orientation was more than what I expected. We learned a lot about the student support here, and we actually feel more at ease after today,” Carmina said.

During the parent portion of the program, parents like Jill and Howard Singer, members of the Aztec Parents Association, offered advice on how to ease into the transition from parent to supporter during their student’s college years.

“Take comfort in knowing your relationship with your student is changing for the better. Your role is to help by coaching, not disrupting, your child’s college experience,” said Jill, who spoke on a parent panel.

A Family Affair

Students transferring to SDSU were strongly encouraged to attend Transfer Student Orientation to help them acclimate to a larger campus and university academics.

Incoming junior Juli Pascual is a transfer student from Southwestern College. She brought her sister Elaine, an alumna who graduated in 2011, with her to Transfer Student Orientation in August.

Elaine said the best part of program was realizing her sister would receive incredible support from faculty like Randi Mackenzie, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs from the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, who she met during the Information Fair.

“She was really helpful because she encouraged me to tell my sister not to just rush through college, but to get involved with student organizations on campus,” Elaine said. “Being involved in college looks better on a resume, which will be more appealing to employers when my sister graduates.”

#HelloSDSU in So Many Languages

Orienting students didn’t stop with those from the United States. The last days of orientation this August were filled with more than 1,000 international students from 70 countries attending International Student Orientation.

On Tuesday, 327 freshman international students some accompanied by their parents learned the SDSU fight song, while also covering the immigration requirements required for studying in the United States.

Many of the international students attending SDSU orientation were pleasantly surprised by the spirited nature of orientation, as well as how thorough it was.

“In Venezuela, they don’t have orientation,” said Arturo Fernandez, a freshman computer science major. “They just say ‘Here are your classes, go to school,’ and that’s it. Here they are showing us everything, that’s nice. Everyone is really nice.”

Fernandez said while campus looked a lot like his home country, getting to places in San Diego was much different than at home.

“Everyone drives on the freeway here. Nothing is close by. The mall, the hospital …
you have to drive to get to where you want to go.”

China is the home country of the highest number of international students, with 206 students becoming Aztecs this fall. India is the country with the second highest international student representation at SDSU for the fall with 168 students. Kuwait, United Kingdom, and Germany round out the top five countries with the most international students at the university this fall.