Meet your International Orientation Leaders (IOLs)!

The OISS office has 6 AMAZING leaders this year that have been working hard to get ready for the arrival of our new international students! They have been training separately and together with the domestic orientation leaders in order to help new students have the best start to their new experience! 


“As an immigrant myself, I wanted to give back to the community. To me, the community is comprised of people from different backgrounds. As an IOL, I am able to put myself in their perspective and help them feel welcome.” – Sylvester Nwosuji, born in Enugu State, Nigeria

“I like making friends and I wanted to meet and welcome other students.” -Pamella Portillo, San Salvador, El Salvador

To prepare for incoming students, the leaders trained and bonded as a team last week. They had long days, but we bonded as a team by doing fun activities and competitions! The highlight of our team bonding was the race we had amongst some of the IOL’s. Sylvester chose to race barefoot while Keanu rocked some converse. Mari and Shehaan decided to jump in on the fierce competition as well! Marycha and Pamella kept a safe distance and recorded it for social media! In the end, Sylvester came in first and beat Keanu, Mari, and Shehaan.


After the race, we played the basketball game, “Lightening,” and Mari ended up beating Shehaan in the end.


Most of our IOL’s were incoming international students themselves and because of their own experiences, they wanted to help welcome students in the same way they were welcomed. Shehaan and Keanu were in orientation last year and are first-time IOLs.


“I wanted to be an IOL leader because last year I saw how much fun the other IOLs were having and I thought ‘wow, I want to be the one helping students having fun,’ I had a wonderful experience at orientation last year and wanted the experience of meeting new students this year!” – Shehaan Johar, Colombo, Sri Lanka


“I am an orientation leader because I value people.” -Keanu Daley, Kingston, Jamaica

Mari is our returning IOL and wishes she could do this every year!

“This is the best job I have ever had. It doesn’t feel like work and I wish I could be an orientation leader forever! #IOL4life -Mari Holand, Trondheim, Norway


“I wanted to be an IOL so I could be an inspiration to new students.” -Marycha Padilla Ochoa, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Look for our IOL’s all week and say hi! You can also learn more about them on our website!

-Amanda, OISS

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