Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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New Director of International Student and Scholar Services: Oresta Felts

Contributed headshot of Oresta Felts
Contributed headshot of Oresta Felts from Winona State University, International Services Staff Page.

The stress of college life is no stranger to any college student. However, there is a group of students that suffer through unique struggles, international students. On top of the regular stressors like homework, tests, and getting out of bed in the morning, international students have the added difficulties of cultural and at times language barriers that can hamper even the simplest of interactions on campus.

Luckily, there is a service on campus that assists international students and helps get them through these turbulent times. The International Student and Scholar Services is a crucial resource for students adapting to the experience of an American college. Recently, a new director has been appointed to head the office on campus, Oreska Felts.

Felts, originally an international student from Ukraine herself, has spent her career helping international students in many distinct aspects. She began her career in 2007 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas working with programming for international students and teaching English as a second language. From there, she moved to Winona State University, started international admissions, and became the office director.

Felts, as the new director of International Student and Scholar Services, had some insight into current operations and plans for the office.

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“This office probably does a lot more things than many people realize,” Felts said. “We communicate with students from the very beginning when they ask the first question about Winona State University all the way through the application process.”

The International office also helps students through the next steps of their journey to the United States. From getting their visas to working to new international student orientation the international office is there helping students.

Zarrar Irfan, an international first year student from Pakistan, has been helped immensely by International Services.

“When I arrived here and had no idea how the college system in the US works, they helped me not only settle but also thrive,” Irfan said. “Even before I got in, I submitted my college application late, yet they still entertained me and guided me the entire way until I got accepted.”

International Services not only help students with the educational aspects of college, but also help them get integrated into the community through planning events and creating programs to help students.

“The biggest event that is coming up for us is the International night which will be in the spring semester on March 26,” Felts said. “We usually have around 300 people in attendance.”

The office also plans cultural cafés such as the recent Chinese Moon Festival earlier this year where students can share their diverse cultures with the general student body. They also host the International Friendship program with the goal of connecting international students to faculty and staff for an exchange of cultures and opportunities to establish relationships with faculty.

“There was a picnic set up by the International Student Services on my third day in the US,” Irfan said. “I got to meet all the new international students and form friend groups that would last for a long time.”

The office also offers services for American citizens who have backgrounds in foreign countries or students who want to know about the distinct cultures represented here on campus.

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About the Contributor
Casey Kruger
Casey Kruger, News Reporter
Casey Kruger (He/Him) is a news reporter for the Winonan and is in his first year at Winona State University. Kruger is studying political science for a major and English as a minor.
Kruger is also a part of the Model UN club, College Democrats, Tennis Club, and the Gaming Club. He loves reading, writing, and playing the French Horn in the Symphonic Band.

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