Future International Students
International Relations Office
At Otero, we are interested in providing students a quality education wrapped in an experience that will last a life time. Through programs, activities and events designed to enhance the student experience, the International Relations Office strives to foster international awareness, understanding and appreciation on the Otero campus and surrounding community while providing crucial support services to our international student population.
International Students: Admission Checklist
This year there are 36 international students on-campus from 20 countries. We asked students to share their responses to a a few commonly asked questions.
What would your advice be future international students coming to study at Otero?
Talk to current students because they are experienced and can help you through during the semester
Prepare to study and be active in every event because it is a really great experience.
I would say, study really hard and get your degree. It is a really nice place to study for those who really want to reach their goal.
Study as much as you can, and be involved as much as possible.
Do not be scared to ask any question, in your courses or about anything.
What is the typical classroom environment like?
I like loud classes like “Public Speaking” because everybody expresses themselves freely and people make close friendships with each other.
Well organized, every exam and assignment are clear (due date and chapters covered).
The classroom environment is well utilized and big, very suitable to study.
Sometimes quiet, but sometimes not. It depends on the teacher.
Nice, small and convenient.
What was the best event you attended on-campus?
The Business Shop, I was interested in the lectures.
International Food Night. It was a beautiful event where I felt that we stood for us.
Halloween because it was my first time and I had a great experience.
The International Talent Show.
The intramural basketball tournament was cool!
Professors will report your grades to the International Relations Office in week 4 and 12, and via Banner for midterms. One on One meetings will be schedule in the few days immediately following to go over your grades and any other issues or concerns that you may have.
In addition to the free tutoring available through the Student Success Center located in McBride 129, the International Office will set study table hours when students who may be struggling due to language can come in and receive assistance from the International Relations staff.
The Student Success Center also offers assistance to students who may need assistance with study skills and habits. Students participate in seminars on things like time maintenance, note taking, test taking skills and stress management.
We all get down from time to time and need someone to talk with about what has been
happening. One on one appointments are great to unload a little throughout the term,
but sometimes you need to meet and talk. Students should feel free to discuss personal
issues with the understanding that information shared will remain private.
If professional counseling services are needed or wanted, students will be referred to a professional in the area.
Your success is important to us, not just at Otero but beyond. Whether you are secure in your career path or are still searching for the best path to follow, it can help to have someone to talk with to determine what additional options might be available to you. Things like CPT, OPT or even what to look for in a transfer institution are things that may help you along the way to continued success.
Orientation & Adjustment
Being an international student is exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating. In addition to a orientation program for new students, we are also here to help you as you settle into American life and student life at Otero.
Here are some tips to adjusting to a new culture:
- Do constructive things to get over the initial adjustment period. Remember you are here to learn. Apart from your study schedule, whenever time permits, explore La Junta, participate in special events and don’t be afraid to talk to engage people in conversation.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends at home. Letters, phone calls or email at regular intervals will help you get over the feeling of homesickness.
- Make a list of short-term and long-term goals of your life and place the list somewhere you will see it often. You will feel re-energized by checking the points you already achieved.
- There are bound to be behaviors or things that you see as unusual or different from how they are at home. Try to understand and respect the people you are around and learn from them.
Already accepted to Otero for the next term? Log on to the International Orientation Pre-Departure Course!
Sometimes going home after an extended stay in a new culture can cause some concern as you have changed, your friends and family may have changed or perhaps the state of your country has changed and it may take a little time to re-adjust.
Here are some tips to preparing to return home:
- Prepare for an adjustment process. Look at the areas where you will see there will be differences and prepare for those changes.
- Understand that the familiar will seem different. You may have different reactions to particular behaviors or places because your perspective has changed.
- There will be much "cultural catching up" to do. It may take some time to catch up on the “local” culture – who is who in music, sports, politics, what has been going on with the community, etc.
- Reserve judgments; as you re-adjust to home it can be easy to make snap judgments about things. Take the time to look deeper.
- Respond thoughtfully and slowly understand that your behaviors may be altered as well and it may be difficult for your friends and family to understand at first.
- Cultivate sensibility; talk to friends and family about what has been going on with them during your absence.
- Remain flexible with your adjustment. It may be that your priorities have changed and that some parts that where a part of your life before do not fit as well. It is okay to recognize that and move on.
- Seek support networks of faculty, staff, and other students who have experienced living abroad and have experienced some of the same re-adjustment issues that you are having.
The term, culture shock, was introduced for the first time in 1958 to describe the anxiety produced when a person moves to a completely new environment. This term expresses the lack of direction, the feeling of not knowing what to do or how to do things in a new environment, and not knowing what is appropriate or inappropriate. The feeling of culture shock generally sets in after the first few weeks of coming to a new place, but it can come in cycles.
The symptoms of cultural shock can appear at different times. Although, one can experience real pain from culture shock; it is also an opportunity for redefining one's life objectives. It is a great opportunity for leaning and acquiring new perspectives. Culture shock can make one develop a better understanding of oneself and stimulate personal creativity.
If you feel that you are experiencing culture shock, please come and talk to the Director of International Programs.
- Sadness, loneliness, melancholy
- Preoccupation with health
- Aches, pains, and allergies
- Insomnia, desire to sleep too much or too little
- Changes in temperament, depression, feeling vulnerable, feeling powerless
- Anger, irritability, resentment, unwillingness to interact with others
- Identifying with the old culture or idealizing the old country
- Loss of identity
- Trying too hard to absorb everything in the new culture or country
- Unable to solve simple problems
- Lack of confidence
- Feelings of inadequacy or insecurity
- Developing stereotypes about the new culture
- Developing obsessions such as over-cleanliness
- Longing for family
- Feelings of being lost, overlooked, exploited or abused
International Student Employment Opportunities
Please select the appropriate link below for more information regarding the various employment options available to international students at Otero.
Special International Programs
Otero College has served as host to special exchange visitors on the following special programs sponsored by the Educational & Cultural Exchange Department of the U.S. State Department.
Community College Initiatives Program
The Community College Initiative (CCI) Program provides international students quality academic program at U.S. community colleges intended to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities, and strengthen English language proficiency. The program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities. Participants spend one academic year in the United States and may earn certificates in their fields of study. After completing the program, participants return home with new skills and expertise to help them contribute to the economic growth and development of their country.
Global UGRAD Pakistan
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) program builds the capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from underserved populations across Pakistan. Through U.S.-based training and practical experience in leadership positions, community engagement, and in their professional fields, undergraduate students gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding. Through semester-long programs of study, exploration of U.S. culture, and integration into U.S. communities, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values and become citizen ambassadors who support expanded diplomatic and development partnerships.
Global UGRAD Central Asia/Eurasia
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia builds the capacity of youth leaders from underserved populations across the region. Through U.S.-based training and practical experience in leadership, life-skills, civic engagement, and internships, youth leaders are empowered to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding. The selected students study in non-degree programs for one academic year at an American university or community college, allowing them to develop a nuanced understanding of the United States and to share their countries and cultures with America. When Global UGRAD students return to finish college in their home countries, they share what they have learned and contribute to the development of their home communities.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress, that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each others' countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.