Celebrating International Students at the 32nd Annual Graduation Reception

4/23/2014 11:53 AM

What a night! OIS celebrated the class of 2014 at the 32nd Annual International Student Graduation Reception last Friday.

by Lydia Siriprakorn

On Friday, April 18, 2014, the Office of International Services celebrated graduating students with a grand reception complete with live music, dance performances, food, desserts, raffle prizes, and more. A live jazz quartet from Thornton School of Music created a classy, yet upbeat ambiance at the University Club. Three hundred guests reveled at the incredible talent of student performance groups USC Drishti (Classical Indian dancers), USC Trogons (East Asian A Cappella singers), and USC TCDance (Traditional Chinese dancers).

The Annual International Student Graduation Reception is a longstanding tradition that brings together USC faculty, staff, students, friends and family to honor graduating international students. It's a fun opportunity for everyone to mix and mingle, show their support for the international community, and enjoy themselves at the end of the academic year. "I enjoyed the celebration of student achievements," one student said. "Most of us have no family here to celebrate with, so these friends are our family."

But what made Friday's celebration particularly memorable? The honor of hosting diplomats from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China, the Consulat Général de France, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and the Consulate General of Malaysia.

"The best part was meeting people I wouldn't ordinarily have the chance to meet," said a Malaysian undergraduate student earning his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Mechanical Engineering. "There were consuls from different countries and I met new friends from my home country and elsewhere."

USC may have the largest international student population of any university in the country, but that doesn't mean it's easy to meet people from other cultures. Between busy class and work schedules, students look for chances to meet new people as often as possible. For many, the reception provides that opportunity each year.

"I got a chance to mingle with people from other cultures," said a female graduate student from India and majoring in Computer Science. "And the traditional Chinese dancers, songs, and Indian classical dance performances were great!" She was one of many smiling faces that filled the University Club on Friday.

It was a warm and lighthearted send off to the graduating students, most of whom plan to stay in the U.S. to pursue employment. OIS offers employment-related support to international students at every stage of their job search, including graduating students in the process of applying for work authorization upon graduation.

Did you miss the event? Or just want to relive it? Check out some of our favorite moments captured by our student photographer Fred Chang.

USC Trogons

USC Drishti

TC Dance

TC Dance

Jazz quartet from Thornton School of Music

Malaysian students and diplomat from the Consulate General of Malaysia

Raffle prize winners


Lydia Siriprakorn is pursuing a Master of Professional Writing degree and is from Washington D.C.

Fred Chang is an undergraduate student from Taiwan and majoring in Policy, Planning and Development, class of 2016.