It’s That Time Again!


It’s That Time Again!

Global Greeters Welcome a New Cohort of International Students
Global Greeters wait at the AirBus to welcome new international students.
Global Greeters wait at the AirBus to welcome new international students. Photo credit: Emily Mellen

n August 16th, as UVA’s campus slowly wakes up from its summer slumber, a group of volunteers in baby blue shirts run out in the rain to greet a bus arriving from Dulles airport. These are the Global Greeters, UVA’s welcoming committee for international students.

The Global Greeters are a student-led volunteer program under the International Studies Office. Every year, they help organize buses to the Washington DC airport, with help from the Student Council and International Studies Office, meet incoming students from all over the world and ride with them back to Grounds. At that point, a new team of greeters helps the students with their luggage and brings them into a residence hall where they receive their IDs and their dorm information.

“We just completed AirBus and that was a whole lot of fun but can also stressful coordinating the trip, says Adrian Mamaril, a fourth-year international student and part of the Greeters’ executive team. “This is one of the most logistical operations of Global Greeters so having everyone's support is key to our success!”



“It was amazing to be greeted by the Global Greeters,” says Lina Tammam, an incoming first year student from Egypt. “I emailed them, and they were so welcoming.” Tammam is a student-athlete who will be joining UVA’s squash team this year. She plans to study in UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce and is looking forward to her courses in Economics and Kinesiology.

Newly arrived international student Lina Tammam stands with her luggage
Newly arrived international student Lina Tammam stands with her luggage. Photo credit: Emily Mellen

Global Greeters also express their feelings of gratitude for the exchange. “It’s really nice and heartwarming,” explains Greeter Addie Simkin, a fourth-year majoring in Global Security & Justice. “This is my first year as an official Greeter, but my roommate did it last year and I tagged along. I had just transferred into UVA and it was a really valuable experience for me, so I decided to join this year.”

After the initial Airbus welcome, the Global Greeters plan an array of other events to help orient and acclimate students. This year’s events included:

  • Dinner on the Corner, following Airbus greetings- Global Greeters meet up with students, guide them to the Corner and orient them to the restaurants, with the option to grab dinner together.
  • Shopping Trips to Barracks- Students meet at the UTS Central Garage bus stop, where Greeters familiarize them with the bus system and the Transloc app. Then, they take the UTS bus to Barracks and show them the shops they might need in the coming months. There is also an option to meet up afterwards for dinner at Newcomb dining hall, where new international students can mingle and meet each other.
  • International Community BBQ Social- This event is back for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, allowing international students and scholars, as well as staff from the International Studies Office, to meet and mingle over food.
  • Insider’s Tours- Global Greeters show students around grounds and indicate helpful places that might not be on the map, such as places to print, yummy food trucks, and the offices that serve international students.

Commenting on her excitement to be working with the Global Greeters for the first time this year, Krystal Doh, International Students and Scholars Services Coordinator for International Studies Office, explains, “My family is from Korea, so I know coming to a new country is really nerve-wracking. I'm glad to be able to provide a service of welcoming faces and be a part of something that helps students who are far from away from home. I hope that our Greeters were a positive impact to the start of their time at UVa and that Global Greeters continues to grow.”