World Learning is excited to spotlight Utah Tech University this month. Utah Tech provides a high level of support to Global UGRAD students each semester, making for some very memorable experiences! Shadman Bashir, Director of the International Office, shares his insights and memories with us.
How long have you been working at Utah Tech? What is your role?
I started working at Utah Tech University (formerly Dixie State University) in Spring 2013, teaching classes in the Business School, Criminal Justice, and Political Science programs. In August 2018, I became the Director of the International Office.
What does your orientation for international students involve?
All our international students are required to participate in the student orientation. The international orientation is separate and different from the domestic or regular orientation. Our goal is to help prepare international students for the U.S. university experience. The orientation is divided into three broad segments. The first part involves introducing students to the different on-campus resources and the rights and responsibilities of the students. The second part is focused on the placement tests and class registration for those students who are not already registered. The third part involves taking students off campus for shopping and setting up a bank account.
For our UGRAD students, we have some additional resources and guidance. Our goal is to take all the necessary steps and help the UGRAD students experience not only the academic aspect but also the cultural and social landscape of the United States. With our close proximity to Las Vegas and shuttle service from our campus to the Las Vegas airport, traveling to other parts of the United States is relatively easy. We want our UGRAD students to become global trailblazers and take home valuable experiences from the time they spend at Utah Tech.
Can you briefly describe a handful of campus clubs, events, and/or programs that are designed with international students in mind?
We have more than a hundred student organizations and clubs which attract a large number of international students. Some of the most popular ones are the Japanese Culture Club and Hispanic organizations.
What is your favorite place on campus and why?
I love the Utah Tech campus. It is small enough to feel big in a small city and big enough to accommodate all our students who are exploring opportunities and platforms for social, economic, and global upward mobility. With Utah Tech University’s new STEM mission, physical infrastructure is being expanded to support the growth of our programs, which makes it difficult to have a favorite location because bigger and better places are growing at a very fast pace across our campus.
I love our Global Village because it is a home away from home for our international students. We try to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for our international students.
Please share a positive takeaway or memorable story from your work with Global UGRADs.
Every semester, we look forward to welcoming the Global UGRAD students because not only are they all excellent students, but the diversity and level of leadership skills each possesses is amazing. I love it when around the middle of each semester, I start receiving messages from different faculty members telling me how wonderful these students are and how much value they add to the overall classroom environment. In Spring 2022, we took the UGRAD students to the Utah State Capital. They were introduced on the floor of the House by the Speaker of the House. It was an amazing moment to see mostly female UGRAD students from some of the most diverse regions of the world being recognized by lawmakers.
Our international students, hailing from more than 50 countries, have created a bridge between Southern Utah and the rest of the world. More than half of our international students receive a merit-based academic scholarship. Almost forty percent of our international students are on the Dean’s or President’s lists, which means they have a GPA of 3.5 or above. With the new STEM focus of Utah Tech University, our international students will create even more stories of success all over the world.