Life at USC

USC IAP Welcomes 170 New Gamecocks!


This August, the USC International Accelerator Program (IAP) welcomed its largest intake yet: 170 students from 10 different countries. These proud new Gamecocks come from China, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany, Syria and the United Arab Emirates! Watch the video below to relive the memories!

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Upon arrival at the airport, new IAP students were greeted with a warm welcome from by the IAP “Orientation Leaders” and were soon on their way to check into their new dorms on campus. Throughout the busy orientation week, students were guided through important arrival tasks such as submitting their immigration documents, visiting the health center and getting their official “Carolina Cards”. Orientation not only included the necessary language placement exams, but students also learned about the academic system in the U.S. and expectations for the year ahead, and had time to register for classes and received an introduction to all the necessary support resources available to them.

All work and no play? Not here at the USC IAP! Orientation also included a shopping trip to stock up on dorm necessities, a campus tour (including time to find where classes would be held) and plenty of “icebreakers” to lighten the mood and learn more about their fellow IAP classmates! See some of the highlights below!


IAP students at airport

Students arriving in “Famously Hot” Columbia, South Carolina!


Former IAP student helping new IAP student

Former IAP students volunteered to help the new students during orientation week! What better way to learn than from someone who has already been through the program?!


IAP Orientation Passport Lanyards

Students received “Orientation Passport” lanyards that provided them with important information to help them keep track of all their orientation tasks.



The new IAP students seem pretty happy about receiving their “Carolina Cards”. Now they’re official Gamecocks!


IAP students playing an icebreaker

“Icebreakers” helped students get to know each other during orientation while keeping them on their feet. In the picture above, students played Common Ground, an icebreaker designed to help students identify what they have in common while using quick thinking, English-listening skills and their ability to race around the room!


Career Accelerator Program Orientation

One activity during orientation included an introduction to the Career Accelerator Program (CAP) with CAP Advisor, Tonya Creamer. Students were challenged to not only think about their future plans, but also their current plans! It’s no surprise that many incoming students were unsure about their choice of major. That’s exactly why the IAP has a career program designed especially for them!


IAP student at Walmart buying Twinkies

A shopping trip to Walmart had some students stocking up on their favorite foods. Twinkies, anyone?


IAP students on campus tour

IAP students with Starbucks

IAP students at Top of Carolina

IAP students in library      IAP students on Horseshoe

What makes the USC IAP orientation special? Students stay engaged in the activities throughout the whole week! Andrea from Nigeria explains, “At my old school the orientations were boring. You usually just sit in a room for ages and just listen. It’s kind of different here because you get to walk around. We haven’t really sat down for a long time yet!”


IAP students jumping

By the end of orientation, the IAP students were jumping for joy with excitement about the upcoming year! What are they excited about? See what the students have to say below!


This semester, I’m most looking forward to…

“…starting classes and going to football games!” ~ Aradhya, India

“…cooking, going to the Strom Thurmond Fitness Center and earning a high GPA!” ~ Minghan, China

“…the food and meeting new people!” ~ Andrea, Nigeria

“…actually, the study abroad program. I really like to travel!” ~ Abigail, Indonesia


Orientation Highlight? The Student Services Advisors helped introduce the “Famously Hot” city of Columbia to the new IAP students. Check out this video to see for yourself!

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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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