OIP Programs, Student Organizations, and Volunteer Activities
The University of Mississippi offers many opportunities for personal growth outside of the class room. In fact, UM has over 250 officially registered student organizations on campus, and lots of department-led activities and programs. Explore this page for more information about OIP offerings, student organizations and volunteer opportunities that may be of particular interest to our international student, scholar and faculty community.
OIP Programs and Activities
Are you a new international student hoping to connect with U.S. peers? Do you want to understand more about U.S. customs and culture, or are you hoping have access to an open forum that encourages discussions on topics of interest to you? Are you looking to find mentors, language partners, learning communities or common interest groups? Do you want to have fun? You'll find all of this and more with OIP programs and activities.
International Student Orientation and Welcome Week
The International Student Orientation and Welcome Week is an essential and positive first step for new students at the University of Mississippi. New students receive a complete overview on matters relevant to being an international student at Ole Miss, including sessions on first week's priorities, student life at UM, employment options and financial information, crossing cultures as well as essentials of maintaining your visa status in the U.S. Personalized assistance by Cultural Connections Program Mentors during orientation will ensure that all details related to being a student at the Ole Miss are handled successfully prior to the start of classes. Welcome Week activities generally include the International Suitcase, Culture Nite and the International Sports Day and culminates with the Cultural Excursions Program and Cultural Café!
Cultural Excursions help international students learn more about Ole Miss as a "place". The purpose of the cultural excursions is to convey the beauty, complexity and uniqueness of all that is Ole Miss and a lasting connection to the place international student will call "home" for years to come. For example, international students have the opportunity to learn about the history, culture and significance of sports at Ole Miss, attend a football game dressed in their Sunday best and participate in the time-honored tradition of tailgating at the grove.
Cultural Café serves as an informal weekly meeting point for students, scholars, faculty and staff alike. A time to unwind and relax, have good conversation, make plans for the weekend, play games and enjoy FREE coffee, tea and snacks. Cultural Café takes place every Friday during the school year at the Barnes & Noble bookstore coffee shop, which proudly brews Starbucks.
Experience America Together (E.A.T.)
E.A.T. is a program by OIP and the Rotary Club of Oxford, Mississippi, which provides international students and scholars a chance to connect personally with members of the Oxford community, and enjoy American food and culture with a local family in their home environment. Community members volunteer to host a dinner and invite international students or scholars (2-4) to join them. E.A.T helps to ensure that international students have the opportunity to experience "home life" in the USA, while members of the Oxford community benefit from direct and personal access to the "world at Ole Miss".
The International Suitcase program aims to welcome newly arriving international students to campus be providing them with a few basic necessities that generally did not fit in their suitcases. The program is by definition eco-friendly. Items contributed by community members or by students who are graduating are passed forward to incoming international students.
Global Perspectives Living Learning Community (GPLLC)
GPLLC is a collaborative initiative between OIP, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Department of Modern Languages and the Office of Housing that provides an on-campus residential environment that fosters academic and social success for students by incorporating a global, international perspective into their studies. Contact with faculty and staff in the Croft Institute, Modern Languages, and OIP as well as regularly scheduled activities--discussion groups, lectures, study groups, etc.--offers students tools to succeed in their chosen major while promoting the ideals of global citizenship. International students are able to practice English every day, while American students gain exposure to other languages of the world. Social events enliven the atmosphere on the floor and nurture the development of life-long relationships with other citizens of the world.
The Cultural Connections Program (CCP)
The Cultural Connections Mentors Program (CCMP)
CCMP program matches newly arriving international students with an already established international student mentor who will meet/welcome students at orientation, link students with CCP, OIP, or other university of community resources and programs, and provide initial and follow up social support, and identify needs/concerns of student. Mentors will work in pairs or teams, matched with a group of international students (e.g., two mentors with 10 students). Mentors are established international or U.S. students who have successfully acculturated and have attending training on international student needs and the acculturation process. Mentors assist in working through daily living challenges and initial social and cultural adjustment. Mentors check in with their mentees regularly and help organize and encourage mentee participation in activities. Mentors are encouraged to participate in CCP programs and outings. Visit the CCMP website at https://orgsync.com/27084/chapter.
International Learning Exchange (ILEX)
ILEX can be thought of as an "on-going orientation", which offers approximately four topical workshops per term designed to meet acculturation needs in a sequential fashion beginning with practical concerns/daily living, academic adjustment/getting along in the classroom; and followed by topics such as cultural differences/ understanding and adjusting to Ole Miss, the South and the U.S.; getting along with roommates; building social networks/supports, etc. Attendees are typically encouraged to ask questions either during the sessions or after the presentations.
The Cultural Connections Club (C3)
C3 offers a safe, supportive and less formal environment that helps students understand and negotiate the cultural adjustment process, address concerns related to psychosocial, cultural or emotional adjustment, and celebrate the benefits of being in a culturally diverse environment/group. The group meets weekly and is facilitated by two-three graduate student facilitators with training in counseling. Common topics include academic adjustment (such as talking to professors), language concerns, communication differences/slang, cultural differences, coping with loneliness or homesickness, connecting to home, and concerns related to the university and town. Playing games, discussion, problem solving, assertiveness skills, socializing, and food sharing, are common activities. Visit C3's website at https://orgsync.com/27076/chapter.
The International Ladies Club (ILC)
ILC provides opportunities to expand friendship networks by providing social and recreational support for international women, including students, faculty, and female spouses of international faculty and community members. Interested U.S. women are also encouraged to join and routinely participate. Activities include scrap booking, discussing cultural differences (e.g., such as in parenting, schools, relationships, style of dress); visiting local cultural attractions; outdoors/nature activities, shopping, and celebrating holidays (e.g. pumpkin carving on Halloween, moon cakes for Chinese New Year); sharing food, and exploring cultural diversity in the community, and on campus. The group meets weekly and is facilitated by one or more graduate students. Visit ILC's website at http://dos.orgsync.com/org/umccp/InternationalLadiesClub.
Cook/Eat/Share is a collaboration with Department of Consumer Sciences that brings American and international members together with the purpose of exploring culture and traditions through food and cooking. The group offers restaurant-style service to the local community, and attendees experience the food and culture of a particular region by enjoying a complete meal along with cultural education. Email Cook/Eat/Share at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Diverse Diggers recruits international and interested U.S. students, organizes practices, activities, and competitions for volleyball, as well as other sports and recreation days (outdoor games at Sardis, hiking, camping), organizing team for community walks/runs, and in turn offers opportunities to establish social networks, promote wellness, and have fun by engaging in sports and recreational activities in a multicultural format. Diverse Diggers' current emphasis is a volley ball team that plays intramurals. Visit the Diverse Diggers website at https://orgsync.com/27095/chapter.
International Student Advisory Board
OIP looks to its International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) as a “management think tank”. ISAB helps to provide a framework for assessing, and for relevantly addressing, matters germane to the adjustment, integration and inclusion of international students on campus. It serves as a sounding board, a source of ideas, expertise and honest advice, within a spirit of collaboration and overlapping, if not mutual, objectives. ISAB is made up of the various international student organizations’ presidents and/or their international student deputies as well as an international executive board member of the Graduate Student Council.
University Standing Committee for International Student Programs
The University Standing Committee for International Student Programs is a policy-advisory body to OIP that provides a framework for assessing current or proposed policies by addressing the adjustment, integration and inclusion of international students and scholars on campus. The Committee members serve as advocates of the international community for equitable consideration in University policies, and speak on behalf of the constituents they represent in their professional capacities. The Committee currently exists of 23 members representing senior administrators, various academic and student affairs departments, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, the Associated Study Body, and representatives of the international community, including faculty, staff and students. The Director of OIP chairs the Committee. Visit the Committee's website at https://secure4.olemiss.edu/ess/UMStandingCommittees.jsp.
Other Opportunities at UM
- Student governing bodies of the campus (Associated Student Body, Graduate Student Council)
- Traditional social and lifestyle (Greek societies, fraternities and sororities, e.g. Delta Sigma Theta)
- Academic achievement or honorary societies (Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honor society in the U.S.)
- Political (College Democrats, College Republicans, Campus Liberals)
- Professional advancement and networking (Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Engineers)
- Sports and recreation (Diverse Diggers, Ole Miss Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club, Ole Miss Outdoors, Ole Miss Badminton Club
- Religious (Muslim Student Association, Rebels for Christ)
- Internationally focused (International Students Organization, Cultural Connections Program, Korea Students Association, Cook-Eat-Share)
- Service oriented (Habitat for Humanity, Hope for Africa)
- Educational (International Learning Exchange)
- Special interests (Anime Club)
- And many more......
- African-Caribbean Association
- Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
- Indian Students Association
- International Students Organization
- Korean Students Association
- Latin American Student Organization
- Muslim Student Association
- Taiwanese Student Association
- Vietnamese Student Association
- Badminton Club
UM has more than 250 officially registered student organizations on campus. Joining student organizations is voluntary, and students may even choose to form their own organizations which reflect their interests or goals. Examples of the various official student organizations on campus include:
UM’s current international student organizations include:
Visit the Dean of Students website for more information about the official student organizations on our campus.
Volunteering at Ole Miss
At UM, service is at our core. It is part of our DNA. Volunteering has meaningful, positive impacts on those around us, and it offers us an opportunity to "pay it forward". To find out more about volunteering at the Volunteer Services website.