International Students Arrive, Transform Lansing into International Region
EAST LANSING – Thousands of international students will begin arriving in the Lansing region this
week to prepare for the fall semester at local colleges and universities. Through the local initiative
Global Lansing, which is led by LEAP, many organizations have begun working together to develop
programming to help better acclimate these students to live in Greater Lansing. This Wednesday,
August 15th, newly arrived international students will have the opportunity to tour Meridian
Township and East Lansing to complete any tasks that they require within the first couple days of
being in the United States. This is a great advantage for local business; students will be opening
bank accounts, purchasing cell phones and other electronics, as well as food, all while on board a
chartered bus running on a set route throughout the community.
Meridian Township businesses and volunteers began planning events like this earlier this year in
anticipation of an influx of international students at Michigan State University. In conjunction with
the region’s emphasis on international relations and business, this initiative has become part of the Global Lansing workgroup with leadership from LEAP and help from many regional organizations looking to make Lansing a true international community.
This fall the Global Lansing workgroup along with its partners and volunteers have planned many
events and programs to help assist international students become comfortable with the Lansing
region; Michigan State University has opened a Spartan Hostel for international students to live in
prior to moving into their dorms, there is a welcome booth at the Capital Region International
Airport which will be set up throughout the week to assist students with navigating campus and
community together upon their arrival. Many local transportation companies have offered their
assistance with travel arrangements, including picking up students from the airport, and also
assisting them in moving from the hostel to their dorms.
“This is the first year the Lansing region has had such a united front in assisting these international students,” said Sara Graham, Talent and Communications Director for LEAP. “Our volunteers have done a tremendous job in creating programs which will be sustainable into the future. It will be easy for our region to encourage international business and continue on this global path."