Student Wellness provides space for international students


Logan Metzger

Editor’s Note: After the publishing of this article, information previously included in the article regarding dates of the International Student Circle sessions may no longer be correct due to Iowa State moving classes to an online only format. Due to this, information regarding future sessions has been removed.

Student Wellness provides space and snacks as a way to build a community for international students.

This program is called International Student Circle and is an eight week long program where international students can come together.

“International Student Circle is a student-led program,” said Brian Vanderheyden, director of Student Wellness. “This is open to all undergraduate, graduate and professional international students. It is a warm and inviting space to connect with other international students, build a sense of community and belonging, and learn strategies to improve your overall well-being and success as a student. It is a fun, relaxing atmosphere to connect with others. The circles involve a mix of fun activities, discussion and education.”

Vanderheyden said the program was started this semester and launched on March 5, with a run of eight weeks. The sessions usually take place in International Nest Space, Parks Library room 034, until the end of the semester. The sessions usually last an hour.

“Peer-to-peer programming is an effective way for students to be able to connect and dialogue about important issues and topics that impact them as well as learn resources and information about well-being from our trained peer leaders,” Vanderheyden said.

Vanderheyden said all students would benefit from participating in the International Student Circle. He said the sessions are open for all international undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“Students will learn strategies to enhance well-being, like stress reduction, mindfulness, etc., they will learn information about resources and they will engage in connection activities to meet new people and build relationships,” Vanderheyden said.

He said sessions are a comfortable and lounge-type setting and each session focuses on a different topic area. There are a mix of activities and discussions during the session.

Vanderheyden said all the sessions are free and students also receive a free journal when they attend and free refreshments are usually available.

“Our data shows that student belonging and well-being is critical for student success, academic performance and overall development,” Vanderheyden said. “This program focuses on enhancing those areas for students so they can thrive at ISU.”

To join Student Wellness’ mailing list to learn more about the Circle and the weekly themes, go to the Student Wellness website.