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Connections Mentoring Program

The Connections Program is a mentoring program offered by the Center for International Services for all new undergraduate international students. It connects current Syracuse University students (mentors) with new international students (mentees) just arriving on campus. 

The mentors are experienced students who can give advice about important topics to new students, such as settling into Syracuse, living with a roommate, opening a bank account, meeting new friends, connecting with professors, and balancing academic work!

The Connections Program also offers fun social events for its participants, such as: virtual game nights, International Grocery Bingo, Pumpkin Carving, Bubble Tea, Game Nights, and much more!

Sign up here to join the program and be assigned a mentor!

Meet the Mentors!

Xiuqi (Tina) Chen

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Applied Math and Psychology

Hey guys, Welcome to Syracuse University. I am Tina Chen who come from China, Beijing. I am a senior and major in applied math and psychology. I know it will be a tough year for you guys. Please feel free to ask any questions and guide from me. Hope you all enjoy your freshman year here:)

Dan Zhao

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Finance & Mathematics

I am very happy to welcome our new friends to join our orange family. Although this is a challenging time, we will try our best to help you get engaged with the university! 欢迎大家加入雪城大家庭!虽然现在是特殊时期,但是我们connections mentors 会尽全力帮助大家度过一个愉快的大一时光!

Vishwas Paul

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Economics

Vishwas Paul was born in India and then moved to Kenya, Uganda and then finally settled in Dubai until he finally decided to study in the United States. One of the things that made Syracuse an attractive choice for Vishwas was the orange spirit and family atmosphere the university showcases. “I still remember waking up at 3 am watching the buzzer beater by John Gillon vs Duke at the Dome and at that moment, I knew I had to come to Syracuse.

He is studying economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, and minoring in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and business in the Whitman School. What he found most helpful about Syracuse was the strong alumni network and the networking and immersion trip opportunities.

After graduating, Vishwas is planning on attending graduate school for Higher Education Policy and understand ways on making Higher education financially accessible for international students

Taylor John

Class Year: 2022
School or College: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Major: Citizenship and Civic Engagement and International Relations, Global Health and Policy
Minor: Chinese Language

My name is Taylor M. John and I am a Junior majoring in Citizenship and Civic Engagement and International Relations with a concentration in Global Health and Policy and minor in Chinese Language. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated at SU where I serve as chapter President as well as President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. I am also a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and Iota Iota Iota Women's Honor Society. I keep myself busy on campus and you can find me studying in the library, at the gym, or grabbing bubble tea on Marshall Street before class. I love everything about SU (I come from a long family legacy of Orange men and women) and I can't wait to share my experience with you as your mentor!!

Ziguang Lu

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Major: International Relations

Hi, everyone. Feel free just to call me by my last name - Lu. I understand that coming to a new place can be a little bit overwhelming and anxious, especially now you are experiencing another layer of difficulty which is this pandemic. However, not to worry. The entire school and all of the faculties are committed to help you to have a successful and memorable experience here. And so do I. Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or concerns!

Yiwei (Cindy) He

Class Year: 2023
School or College: School of Information Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Major: Information Technology and Management

Hello everyone, I’m Cindy. I am from Jiangsu, China. And I am a rising sophomore. We all know this year is a very unique year, and it’s going to be hard for us to meet on campus, but I’m still happy to have the chance to know you guys and talk about what’s great and fun to do in this upcoming semester.

Fun fact about me, I was studying Communications Design in VPA in my freshman year, and I transferred to iSchool for Web design and management this summer. We could definitely talk through your major or your academic goal and future path. There are a lot of interesting part of being a freshman this year and I’m looking forward to hear from you all very soon! : )

Zar Ahmad

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Engineering and Computer Science
Major: Aerospace Engineering

My name is Zar Nigar Ahmad. I was born in Pakistan but moved to Dubai when I was 5. I am in School of Engineering and Computer Science, majoring in Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. I can speak English, Arabic, and Urdu.

I am really passionate about being a mentor and helping the new incoming international students in any way possible. I would like to make sure their transition into college life is as easy as possible. College is about working hard academically but also having a good time, and I would like to help the new students enjoy their time here at Syracuse rather than worrying about small issues that I can guide them through. I am looking forward to the coming semester, meeting new international students and helping them by being their mentor, friend, guide, tutor or an advisor.

Can (Cecilia) Luo

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Economics & Mathematics

Hi, I am Cecilia from Shanghai, China. I am double-majoring in Math and Econ, and minoring in Computer science. I love study and good at learning skills. Besides, I know how to have fun in Syracuse. I would love to share my experience about how to balance study and entertainment.

Alaba Danagogo

Class Year: 2021
School or College: The College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Biology

When I first came into SU, having my own mentor made a huge difference. It showed me how great it felt to have someone who is prepared and willing to support you in a completely new environment. I am excited to encourage you and help you navigate SU in the smoothest way I can provide. I am prepared to guide you through your transition to life at Syracuse!

Yangdi Jiang

Class Year: 2021
School or College: Whitman School of Management
Major: Finance

You have stepped into a new environment during a complicated situation, you must be very nervous. Please do not carry all alone, let me render a more beautiful starting point for your extraordinary start.