The International Graduate Programs Office in coordination with the curriculum Program Officers is responsible for the selection, briefing, and execution of the International Student Sponsor Program. The primary purpose of the International Student Sponsor Program, as stated by OPNAV INST 1740.3A, is to facilitate the adaptation of the newly assigned international officers and family members to their tour at NPS, life on the Monterey Peninsula and the United Stated in general. Our international students will arrive at the Monterey Airport with bags in hand, having traveled through numerous airports and across many time zones. They will have to deal with all the problems and anxieties associated with any PCS move. Our goal is to make this as orderly a transition as possible. There are no special skills required in what you do – only a smile and lots of enthusiasm to assist them through the cultural shock of living in the United States.
Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) policy is to designate US military officers attending NPS as international sponsors. Matching of sponsors and international students is done by curriculum in order to assist in academic networking. If we have received biographical information on our international students ahead of time, we will also try to match sponsors by family status (marital status, number of children, ages, etc); however, in many cases this is not possible.
Required Duties and Responsibilities
- The primary duty of a sponsor is to assist in the initial transition and adjustment of the international officer and his /her family. All sponsors will contact their incoming student as soon as appropriate following their selection as a sponsor. Initial contact may be via e-mail, telephone, of personal letter. Sponsors of international students will contact the International Graduate Programs Office located in the basement of Herrmann Hall room B-047 to receive details about their incoming international student and will attend an international student sponsor briefing. Sponsors will report making initial contact to the Sponsor coordinator and the Indoctrination Officer in Student Services.
- Sponsors will answer any questions and act as a liaison for the new student with NPS.
- All sponsors will meet their incoming student at the Monterey Airport upon their initial arrival in the Monterey area and escort them to their temporary lodging.
- Sponsors are to help with arranging or locating the basic necessities (housing, grocery shopping, transportation, restaurants, schools, medical care, etc) for their incoming students. Also, it is highly encouraged that you host the new family in your home. Special programs are in place to aid the newly arrived international student and family. Details on these programs are available in the International Programs Office and are covered in the required International Student briefing.
- Since sponsors are matched to incoming students by curriculum code, sponsors are to provide any possible assistance with initial scheduling of classes, classroom procedures and the daily administrative requirements of NPS.
- Sponsors are to ‘check-in’ with their new student periodically (recommended at least once a week) to check the progress of the new students transition and provide any further aid as needed. This should continue for at least the first few months at NPS.
- The key to a successful sponsorship is communication. Obviously, initial contact is most important in getting things started on the right track. The amount of time you will spend will depend a great deal on where the student is coming from. Many of our non-English speaking students will require more assistance because while they speak English, they will not be familiar with our slang and colloquialisms and many of the spouses will speak little or no English at all. Allow the relationship to seek its own level depending on the needs of the international student. The length of time you will be involved as a sponsor will vary according to the situation. At a minimum we ask you to stay involved for the first quarter of the international student’s tour. Ideally we would hope that you will develop a long term friendship that will continue throughout your lifetime.
- As a sponsor, you and your family are eligible to participate as escorts in our Field Studies Program (FSP) (see International Programs link.) We take students and their families on numerous local and regional trips as will as two trips a year to Washington D.C. It is a wonderful opportunity to see attractions at little or no cost.
- Sponsors are also eligible to serve on the International Executive Committee. (see International Committee link.)
- If, at any time, you have any questions, concerns, problems, or suggestions about the sponsor program call the International Programs Office (656-2186) or better yet stop by the office for a visit.