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WILMORE, Ky. — While most of Asbury University’s new students will arrive Monday for new student orientation, students making an intercultural leap got a running start on Friday with a special registration session.

Current students were on hand to welcome new intercultural students to Asbury.Asbury provided a welcome bag of information and one-on-one assistance in signing up for medical services, language placement tests and parent information. The intercultural students — a group that includes students of different nationalities, as well as Americans who have been living in other countries for the past three or more years — provided enthusiasm and a can-do attitude to learn at every opportunity.

Dominique Ducdoc, a freshman from Argentina, was introduced to Asbury while visiting a family friend in the United States over the winter. It made an impact on her that her mother, Cynthia Hotton, immediately noticed.

“When she came back to Argentina after visiting Asbury, she was at peace and spiritually happy,” said Hotton, who works as an evangelical representative in the Buenos Aires government. “Since we are Christians, we really wanted her to stay at a Christian university. When you are far from home, it’s important.”

Having an extra weekend not only gives students and their families the chance to adjust to a new time zone or climate, but it also provides a little extra time to process the adjustments they are experiencing in the company of people who understand their challenges. For example, most college students expect to fill out some paperwork to apply for a campus job or establish a bank account; not many expect to begin their college careers by attempting to navigate the Social Security Administration or explain vaccination records in different languages.

Over the weekend, activities in the Intercultural New Student Orientation include a session on the campus computer networks, shopping excursions, tours of the local community and an afternoon at the University’s Challenge Course. The activities are designed both to celebrate the cultures students call “home” and prepare them to succeed at Asbury.

“I’m interested in studying Media Communication, and I’m excited about meeting my professors,” Ducdoc said. “I’m looking forward to being with God and having fun.”