Encounter ND: New collaboration strengthens ties in Asia, welcomes new students

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Encounter Nd Photo CopyThe Beijing Global Gateway welcomed more than 50 members of the Notre Dame community as part of Encounter ND.

Notre Dame International, in collaboration with the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Notre Dame Alumni Association, launched a new initiative in Asia on Wednesday, July 17. “Encounter ND” is a series of events and lectures meant to engage the Notre Dame community in Asia, reach out to University partners, and welcome incoming students through a series of pre-departure orientation sessions and international Hesburgh Lectures.

While the events are designed to welcome and prepare incoming students and parents to Notre Dame, it was also meant to strengthen the University’s presence in Asia through the established Global Gateways and Centers.

“We believe these partnerships advance the interests of all of our units in the region, and provides an incredible opportunity for stakeholders on campus to partner with our Notre Dame clubs and Global Gateways and Centers to strengthen the impact of the University in Asia,” says Miranda Ma, advisor for Asia program at Notre Dame International.

The pre-departure orientation and Hesburgh Lecture tour involved several faculty and staff from Notre Dame and spanned across three different cities in Asia. The first stop in Beijing, China, welcomed more than 50 members of the Notre Dame community and included an orientation, a Hesburgh Lecture from Yiyu Shi, and a private dinner. A similar event was also hosted in Shanghai and welcomed 80 people from the Notre Dame community. The final event was hosted in Mumbai, India, with three separate orientations and a Hesburgh Lecture from Susan Ostermann. A farewell dinner was attended by incoming students and parents, current students, and Notre Dame alum.

“It was such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by the Notre Dame community in Asia and prepare the incoming students and families as they begin their Notre Dame journey,” says Ma.

“We’re excited to be a part of this new event and strong collaboration that helps link the Notre Dame campus to our international presence in Asia.”

Encounter Nd Mumbai PhotoA farewell dinner in Mumbai was attended by incoming students and parents, current students, and Notre Dame alum.

The Liu Institute, which supports innovative projects, research, and social engagement in Asia, assisted with the planning efforts and identified lecturers in both Beijing and Mumbai. Liu Institute Director Michel Hockx says he was grateful to help build and strengthen these new relationships, which will reach beyond a student’s graduation from Notre Dame.

“When a student comes to Notre Dame, it changes the lives of an entire family,” says Hockx.

“We want these families to understand the programming and support that the Liu Institute offers to students from Asia, and we also want to benefit from their knowledge and experiences in Asia.

“Encounter ND” is a new model that will likely be utilized on a larger scale in the future as a way to build on the welcome that Notre Dame clubs provide to international students to campus. For most of these students, this will be their first point of contact with the Notre Dame family. It’s one reason that the Notre Dame Alumni Association was interested in being a part of this new program.

“The events were a warm welcome for our students in what will become a lifelong relationship with Notre Dame,” says Nathalia Casiano, international alumni relations program director.

“For the parents, this event was an affirmation that they are just as much a part of the Notre Dame family as their children. For our alumni and friends, Encounter ND was a beautiful reminder that Notre Dame is always close, no matter where they go in the world.”

“Encounter ND” is setting the stage for incoming international students and truly making them feel connected and welcomed to the Notre Dame community, says Ma.

The fall international student orientation for undergraduates is August 21-22, 2019. 

Click on the page below to experience “Encounter ND.”


Encounter ND

Originally published by Colleen Wilcox at international.nd.edu on August 20, 2019.