What is Pole International Students (IS) ?
Pole IS is ultimately responsible for the integration of International Students at school in our program. Our mission is to make the life of students coming here from other countries easier; socially, practically and academically. It is also to be the representative voice of international students in the list, and in the BDE (Student Council) if elected.
40% of the first year cohort is made up of international students. This shows how important it is for a BDE to ensure that students with diverse and unique cultural backgrounds feel included and represented. Being a very diverse list at the core, 17 of our list members are internationals, inclusion and openness have been and always will be fundamental values of TKL.
Despite the many nationalities present on campus, there is sometimes a clear division between the French and International students. We believe it’s mutually beneficial to break this trend, as interacting and adapting to people of different cultures has become a vital skill in business today. A major reason why this divide exists is the language barrier. Being the only one not speaking French at a party, in a classroom or in an association can make it difficult to feel included. Not only is it a barrier to student life, but sometimes an academic barrier as well.
What does this imply more concretely ?
If we are elected, these are some of the intended measures we would take to solve the identified problems :
Events for everyone - work towards finding ways to organise events that are more inclusive and also add events that are fun for more people than only the ones that like to party hard.
Examples of these would be :
- International and cultural happenings on campus embracing the multicultural nature of our school.
- Inter-residential parties to mix the more international heavy Le Port and Les Linandes with Le Parc.
- Specific music themed parties to fit a larger audience than a French one.
- More gaming related events - LANs, tournaments...
- Movie related events for a more relaxed event environment
- Sport events for the fun of it - no training and real matches, just uniting all types of people through sports in a relaxed manner.
- Literature related events for our book lovers.
A detailed International Student guide will be written to facilitate the life of students moving from another country, whether this be necessities such as CAF or fun things to do in Paris/Cergy. Sending this guide to students at an earlier stage than in past years is also of great importance. This would prepare students to a larger extent. We would furthermore collaborate with the administration in order to make it available on the school's platforms.
As responsible for integration of international students, our goal would be to represent the IS part of the cohort in BDE related questions. We would achieve this by collecting feedback from the people concerned about what they think and feel about their social and academic life on campus and what could be improved. Maintaining a constant conversation with the cohort is therefore key, both through surveys and through social interaction.
We would like to implement a system using people who speak English and French well to bridge the gap between IS and French people, from a social and academic point of view.
For instance, in LV3 where certain IS have reportedly had difficulties as these classes are taught fully in French, we’d like to create a system of helping fellow IS classmates using people who speak both languages fluently.
We would like to increase inclusion of IS in student associations by significantly emphasising the role of a “Respo IS”. The task of a “respo IS” could be, but is not limited to the translation of association activity, efforts to include the IS students into the association's social aspect and measures that ensure international students are represented and have a voice.
Although the role does already exist, it is often simply there for show. Considering how huge of a part student association are on student life and integration, we are convinced this could help increase the inclusion of IS a great deal.
Always ensure that BDE communication reaches out to everyone. All meetings will be translated into English. If you don’t speak French, you shouldn't have to listen to people speaking French for hours. Furthermore, we would try to increase the use of instagram to remind people of events as we feel many students, especially internationals, don’t use facebook much at the start of the year and hence miss out.