HISE weekend includes press box reception, shadowing classes
Carolyn Hutyra | Monday, April 7, 2014
The University of Notre Dame brought students from around the world to campus from April 6-8 to partake in the Hesburgh International Scholars Experience (HISE), which provides prospective international students with a glimpse into life at the University.
According to assistant director of admissions Julie Moloney, the Latin American and Caribbean council initiated the program six years ago in hopes of providing international students with the opportunity to see and experience Notre Dame prior to making a college decision.
“A lot of students don’t get the opportunity to visit Notre Dame before they have to make their decision, and we all know how beautiful this campus is and how great the people are,” she said.
Moloney said the international students get the chance to experience the life of a Notre Dame student through the program.
“We organize a lot of different activities and events for them,” Moloney said. “They get to do college information sessions with each of the different departments with a lot of professors and some of the academic advisors in the different departments.”
In addition, Moloney said students are allowed to attend up to three classes in order to gain a better understanding of the academic aspect of student life. Participants also have the opportunity to observer dorm life and student-student interactions.
“They get to stay in the dorms with student hosts, so the hope is that they’re getting to see Notre Dame from all angles before they have to make that decision as to where they see themselves the next four years,” she said.
On Sunday night, the students partake in the press box event at Notre Dame stadium, according to the HISE agenda.
“It’s really kind of neat for the students to be able to be up there,” Moloney said. “I think some of them realize how big of a deal it is, and some don’t until they come to Notre Dame.”
Another trademark event of the weekend is the closing gala on Tuesday evening, Moloney said.
“There’s a nice dinner, and there’s a speaker,” Moloney said. “Then we have a big dance afterwards with a photo booth and competitions. Everyone knows that they get to come, dress nicely for that and have a lot of fun.”
Notre Dame has one of the highest percentages of students who study abroad among universities in the United States, and Moloney said it is also important to have international students attend the University.
“Adding diverse minds and cultures is really enriching all across the board,” she said. “I think students that come back from [study abroad] experiences are so enriched academically and culturally.
“I think that it aligns perfectly with the mission of the university to be bringing these diverse minds to Notre Dame just to stir the pot a little bit in terms of students that have grown up in different parts of the world with completely different cultures and completely different university systems and education systems.”
Moloney said she hopes the HISE experience shows students all of Notre Dame’s strengths and allows them to decide if the University is the right fit for them.
“We have programming that really reflects around what I kind of say are three pillars of Notre Dame,” Moloney said. “The mind, heart and spirit … our tradition of academics, community, spirituality.
Despite being a respected academic institution, Notre Dame is not the right fit for everyone, Moloney said, but she added that if a student is interested in community and spirituality as aspects of a college experience, then Notre Dame is a good choice.
“I think every student that graduates from here, you know that you’re graduating not just with a top-notch education, but you’ve also grown a lot personally in every aspect of the way,” she said.
Moloney said Notre Dame is a place where students might experience their highest and lowest moments, but through these experiences, students grow markedly.
“In a nutshell, I would recommend students to Notre Dame if that sense of growing as a whole person really appeals to them and knowing that, when you graduate, you’re going to be tasked with making a difference in the world, whatever you choose to do,” Moloney said.
This task falls to students in every major, whatever career path they choose, Moloney said.
“We’re challenging all of our students and all of our graduates to go on and make a difference,” Moloney said. “I think that’s one of the reasons I think people are attracted to Notre Dame because it is so mission-centered and because it comes with such a heavy task but a very manageable task.”