New housing for internationals

Virginia Berg

Virginia Berg

Beginning in the fall semester SDSU will offer something for international students that it hasn’t really offered in the past – a housing community.

The International Residential Campus Community, or IRCC for short, will be located in Bailey Hall as a part of the University Apartments and will offer 15 international students specialized housing to meet their unique needs.

The IRCC will be open to all international students, not just incoming students, said Michael Kervin, SDSU’s Director of Residential Life.

The four apartments that compose the IRCC will be located on third floor Bailey and will offer additional supplies to international students. Silverware, plates, bowls, glasses, basic cookware and a donated used TV will be checked out to each apartment in addition to the furniture that usually accompanies the Bailey Hall apartments.

“There are certain items that you don’t think about bringing with you when you go abroad,” said Kervin. “We would just like to offer them an opportunity to acclimate to the Midwest.”

The IRCC will also have an ambassador that will act like an RA for the community. The ambassador will live in one of the apartments and will coordinate programs and trips for the residents in the community. Destinations could include places like Pierre, Mt. Rushmore or the Mall of America. This person may also work with area families to find fitting host families for each international student. Ideally students could go to a host family’s home to share a meal a few times a month, and to spend some time with over holiday breaks.

By locating the IRCC in Bailey Hall, each group of students will have a kitchen where they can prepare their own ethnic foods as well as foods similar to those prepared at campus dining facilities. This provides an option that is not available in many of the traditional residence halls.

Kervin would like to emphasize that involvement in the IRCC is strictly voluntary, and that no student is mandated to live in the community.

“Put yourself in their shoes,” said Kervin, “Sometimes international students may be here for five years without ever visiting home.”