The ISO Program: Mia Toribio Lantigua’s Transition to Colgate

First-year Mia Toribio Lantigua has traveled over 1,500 miles from her home of Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, to Hamilton, where the International Student Orientation program has provided many resources to ease her transition. 

“The International Student Orientation (ISO) has been very insightful,” Lantigua said. “They have covered numerous significant topics about life as an international student in the United States. There have been excursions around Colgate and the surrounding areas, which allowed international students to connect and bond with each other.” 

Toribio Lantigua’s  time spent at Colgate so far has been filled with lots of learning and immersive experiences that have allowed her to connect with members of the Colgate community and become more comfortable in her new environment. 

For example, Toribio Lantigua and her fellow international first-years went downtown to visit the bank and get ice cream. This excursion reflects the aim of the ISO program; it had a very practical aspect to it, but combined that with a fun component, encouraging the students to bond and feel at home in Hamilton. 

With international students making up nine percent of Colgate’s student population, it is important to have adequate resources to support these students. Throughout the ISO, Toribio Lantigua said she has felt supported by numerous individuals. 

“The administrative deans, core group leaders and volunteers are making a noteworthy effort to help us familiarize ourselves [in] this new environment and assist everyone with the adjusting process.” 

In addition to the support Toribio Lantigua described throughout her ISO program, she remarks that the support from the Office of International Student Services (OISS) has also been extremely helpful. 

“Even though I miss my loved ones back home, I feel the adapting process has been smooth thanks to the support [I] have been receiving from OISS.”

Even after ISO, Toribio Lantigua and the other international students will continue to have access to plenty of resources. Examples include cultural adjustment support; arrangements for meals, activities and housing during breaks; an international kitchen; and a textbook library. 

According to Toribio Lantigua, ISO was “a great opportunity to meet people from around the globe, ask important questions and learn from everything Colgate [has to] offer.”