Life at USC

USC IAP Kickoff Party


With orientation complete and the first week of classes officially underway, it was time for a celebration! The USC International Accelerator Program (IAP) held a Kickoff Party to get the semester started!

USC IAP students and Global Navigators enjoying food and conversation!

During the party, USC IAP students, both new and returning, gathered in the Russell House Student Union ballroom to enjoy food, friends and music. As it was the first time returning students were able to gather with the new intake of students, new friendships were formed and smiles were all around!

Global Navigators, the USC IAP pre-arrival mentors assigned to incoming students, also joined in on the fun. The party gave most Navigators the opportunity to meet their mentees in person for the very first time! After spending the summer virtually preparing the incoming students for a successful arrival and transition into the Gamecock community, it was the perfect opportunity for Global Navigators and their mentees to experience a true Gamecock tradition together: taking a picture with the USC mascot, Cocky!

Global Navigator, Eleni Collis (left) and her USC IAP Mentee, Xuanwen Jia (right).

Global Navigator, Eleni (pictured left), and her USC IAP mentee, Xuanwen Jia (pictured right), met each other for the first time during the event! When deciding to participate in the Global Navigator mentoring program, Eleni said:

I was interested in becoming a mentor because, after having traveled to Europe over spring break, I realized how important it is to be aware of other cultures and different types of people. While abroad, I did my best to take advantage of the opportunities to socialize with the locals and I loved every minute of it. I think it’s important to help incoming students prepare for and adjust to life in a new environment. Coming to USC from out of state was an overwhelming experience, so I can’t even imagine what it would be like coming from an entirely different country. I wanted to help make that transition as easy and enjoyable as possible by helping the USC IAP students and guiding them toward success. 


(From left to right) Aradhya Kochar, Joanna Zietara, Cocky, Girik Gupta, Abigail Jeanna Sondakh and Vy Nguyen.


What do the USC IAP students think of the Global Navigator Mentoring Program? They couldn’t be happier!

My sessions with my mentor were awesome! I had all my questions answered and we even made goals [for the school year ahead] and spent time getting to know each other.

~ Abigail Jeanne Sondakh, Indonesia (pictured above)

It felt so good to talk to someone and get to know the place that’ll be my home for the next four years! Moreover, talking to my mentor was great! She really helped me out with the questions I had and the information she provided. It’s good to know someone who is already at the university before you even get there.

~ Aradhya Kochar, India (pictured above)

Be sure to stay tuned for more updates about the Global Navigator program and how mentors and mentees are engaging and connecting on campus! In the meantime, see more pictures from the Kickoff Party below!


USC IAP students, Global Navigator mentors and, of course, Cocky!


Global Navigators and USC IAP students show off their “spurs up” hand sign!


USC IAP students and Global Navigators hanging out at the Kickoff Party!


Student Services Advisor, Joanna, hanging out with some of the USC IAP students.


More smiles from our USC IAP students.


Cocky made a lot of new friends at the IAP Kickoff Party!


Want to see what other events and outings our USC International Accelerator Program students participate in? Check out our other blog postings!

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