UMD: A Globally Connected University

International Orientation Leaders (IOL)

International Orientation Leaders (IOL)


We are so excited you’re interested in learning more about serving as an International Orientation Leader (IOL) for the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)!

**Fall 2021 IOLs Applications are open. The deadline to apply is April 9th, 2021. **

What does being an IOL mean?

It means being passionate about engaging with incoming international students! UMD welcomes around 1,500 international students each year. Many of our students arrive at UMD for the fall semester. As an IOL, we ask that you guide and support these students as they become acclimated to our campus and the College Park community. Orientation marks the beginning of a transition for all students. As an IOL you can make a difference in supporting incoming international students feel welcome as they start their studies at UMD!

Hear from your Peers about Being an IOL

  • All IOLs would recommend volunteering as an IOL to a friend.
  • All IOLs felt that they developed intercultural communication skills.
  • The majority reported that this experience broadened their leadership, teamwork and facilitation skills.

When asked their favorite part about being an IOL, student leaders said:

  • “I love to meet and talk with new students and introduce how great UMD is. Also, I made new friends. Especially in the online environment, it's hard to find a chance to meet with other students.”
  • “I became friends with several other IOLs, and because we all live near campus we actually got to meet up in person (socially distanced), which was so fun.”
  • “Chatting with students and learn about their background and culture”
  • “My favorite part is to talk with more new friends since we cannot see them face-to-face.”
  • “Making the deliverable and knowing it was helpful.”
  • “I really enjoyed meeting other IOLs.”
  • “Collaborating with other students.”

What did IOLs gain from this experience?

  • “The IOL program helped me improve my leadership and gave more confidence to show myself.”
  • “I'm confident I improved my leadership skills by learning how to empower people and lead them by my example.”

What would I be expected to do for the Fall 2021 orientation?

  1. IOLs will lead small group discussions in at least three (3) virtual Meet & Greet for newly admitted students. This is an opportunity to build connections, share information about UMD, and provide space for new students to ask questions from their peers. We expect each IOL to attend at least 3 (three) virtual Meet & Greet Sessions that will take place in June, July, August. There will be two one-hour sessions per month.
  2. Content co-creation. You will work with other IOLs in small groups to create one deliverable around a specific topic that is relevant to newly admitted students. IOLs will receive ample support and guidance from a staff advisor to facilitate the completion of this project. The deliverable can be a video, hosting an informational session, or an online game. This will make learning about UMD, U.S. culture, and relevant resources fun and engaging!
    • Topics: Academics at UMD, American Culture & Adjustment, Getting Involved, Eating and Living Like a Terp, Working-on Campus.
    • Examples of deliverables from previous semesters.

I’m really excited about the role! How do I apply?

  • Step 1: Fill out the online application and select a date for a group interview listed on the survey. Please note that the group interview will occur via Zoom.
  • Step 2: Attend the online group interview slot you signed up for- once you sign up, you will receive an email to join the Zoom call prior to the event. During the group interview, we’ll present some information about our program and the expectations of IOLs. We'd also really like to try and get to know you!
  • Step 3: ISSS’ orientation committee will review your application and group interview. Decisions will be released to applicants during the week of April 23rd, 2021.
  • Step 4: IOLs are expected to complete 8 hours of training, spread over several sessions focused on topics of self-awareness /social identities, understanding cultural differences, empathy, verbal and nonverbal communication. Information on these training will be made available to all selected IOLs.

I still have questions… Who should I contact?

You can send all of your questions to