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Undergraduate Student Mentors Program

“Culture shock” is a real phenomenon experienced by many international students as they adjust to a new environment, climate, diet, culture, country, and institutional rules and regulations. The International Student Assistant Mentor program cannot claim that new international students will never suffer a bout of culture shock if they participate in the mentor program. However, International Student Assistant Mentors help to make the academic, personal, and social adjustment of many of our new students easier with the care and attention they bestow upon them. The experience that mentors have to offer as upper-class students is invaluable.

The international student mentors facilitate a successful transition to WVU and the USA for new undergraduate international students. They provide a support network for students, guidance and encouragement related to all facets of university and American life. They also interact on a personal level with new students and attend social, cultural, sporting and other events. Overall, mentors assume a big brother/sister role to create a positive university experience and provide participating students with the tools and support needed to succeed at WVU.

Goals of the program

  • To give international students a personal student resource on campus
  • To provide new international students emotional, informational and social support.
  • To enhance/promote intercultural experiences on campus
  • To provide an informal environment for new international students to ask questions and seek help from peers

Mentor Benefits

  • Development of leadership and interpersonal skills through intercultural sessions
  • Experience in program development and facilitating small groups
  • Making Friends with new international students

Mentee Benefits

  • Supportive acclimation process
  • Improved cross-cultural communication
  • Developing new friendships
  • Increased involvement in WVU community/activities/events

Program Requirements

  • Mentees will be assigned to a mentor and will be committed to meeting for 1-2 hours per week attending various programs and events across campus and around the Morgantown area for the entire fall semester
  • Mentees will be committed to attending mentor and mentee group activities (fun and challenging team building activities) scheduled once a month throughout the fall semester.

The success of a mentor and mentee relationship takes the commitment of both the mentor and mentee. If you are looking for a fun way to build new networks at WVU, and are committed to sparing some time to discover Morgantown with the help of a peer student, this program is for you. To participate in the mentor program, follow the link below to submit your application. Because mentors are limited, applications will be considered on a first-come basis. Because of the time commitment required for this program, please DO NOT complete the mentee application for anyone else.

Undergraduate Mentors - Fall 2016

Salima Benhamida

Salima Benhamida (Female) is a Junior in Supply Chain Distribution. Since her family is from Algeria, she can relate to international students and wants to help them to adjust to college life in a different country.

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Fares El-Amine (Male) is a Sophomore in Computer Engineering and came to WVU as a transfer student from Lebanon.  He would like to use his experience with this transition to help others feel that WVU is like home.

Jasleen Gandhi

Jasleen Gandhi (Female) is a Freshman in Biology and, as an international student herself, understands the initial cultural shock new students may experience. Her goal is that at the end of the semester her mentee can proudly state that 'WVU is home away from home.’ 

Bridget Hawkins

Bridget Hawkins (Female), a Senior in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Resources; Strategic Communications, is returning for a second year as a mentor.  She wants to make international students feel welcome where they may otherwise not feel they belong.  She has traveled in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK and, while at WVU, participated in the study abroad program to Patagonia, Chile.

Alyssa LoVerso

Alyssa LoVerso (Female) is a Junior in Multidisciplinary Studies and wants international students to feel as welcome and at home here at WVU as she does.  She wants to make sure that her student feels like a WVU Mountaineer from the second they meet.

Catherine Lyter

Catherine Lyter (Female) is a Junior in Economics and International Business who loves meeting people from new cultures. She has studied abroad and feels that she can use her experience to help new international students at WVU. sure that her student feels like a WVU Mountaineer from the second they meet.

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Annalice Mollica (Female), is a Sophomore in Political Science and Economics. She came to the Mentor Program last year because  she is passionate about the inclusion and immersion of international students at WVU. She has traveled extensively and has lived in Croatia, Australia and France.

Pranav Sabharwal

Pranav Sabharwal (Male) is a Sophomore in Industrial Engineering.  When he came to WVU in 2014 he had a mentor and enjoyed the program greatly.  He is looking forward engaging in the program again and helping an incoming freshman to make WVU his new home.

Savolia Spottswood

Savolia Spottswood (Female) is a Freshman in Forestry. She says, 'If there is anything I could do to make people feel more comfortable in a place that is unfamiliar to them, I will excitedly do it. Diversity on this campus is what makes being a mountaineer great!'

Marisa Terwilliger

Marisa Terwilliger (Female) is a Senior in Chinese and International Studies and returning for a second year as a mentor.  She has always enjoyed connecting with people and building relationships.  She says, "Coming to a new place and having to build a network of friends is hard enough, especially so when you 're in a different country. I want to help students build that network and have the best WVU experience possible!"