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International Student Pre-Orientation (ISP)


International Students and Scholars

124 Wright Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA USA

Phone: 413-585-4905 or 413-585-2697
Fax: 413-585-4982

Open office hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 2:30–4 p.m.

August 26–30, 2018

ISP is mandatory for all students coming to Smith on a student visa. We also welcome students who have U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent residency who have grown up abroad and feel it would be a beneficial program to attend. Best of all, it is free! The college covers the entire cost of ISP; students pay no additional fees. Participants will stay in their own permanent housing assignments for the year. All meals, workshops, field trips and other expenses are funded by the college.

Several workshops will be devoted to the complicated issues of immigration laws, travel and work restrictions, the U.S. banking system and health insurance. In addition, students will have ample opportunity to meet with officials from Financial Aid, Health Services, and other offices.

We have also scheduled shopping trips, picnics, and other recreational activities such as receptions and special dinners to further introduce entering students to Smith, Northampton, and the surrounding Five College area.


To register for ISP, please fill out our online form.

2017–18 Schedule

The 2018–19 ISP schedule will be uploaded soon. In the meantime, get an idea of what ISP will be like by looking at a previous year's International Student Pre-Orientation program.

The ISSO has compiled all the handouts and information distributed during 2017 ISP into one place. Look through our ISP Resource Website to review information!

2017–18 ISP Leaders

ISO students have attended the program themselves and can now help others adjust to the academic, cultural and social life at Smith.

Aleice Goodman
Aleice Goodman ’19

Eleuthera, The Bahamas
Biology major

I am a sprinter and jumper on the Smith Track and Field Team. ISP was definitely one of the best and most memorable experiences I've had at Smith. It made me appreciate being a part of Smith's diverse and unique community and I'm so glad that I'll have the opportunity to experience this again with all of you!

Anuska Jain
Anuska Jain ’19

Kolkata/Mumbai, India
Economics and psychology (double major)

I live in Morrow House (West Quad). I am a part of EKTA (South Asian Students Association) and ISO (International Students Association) on campus. I hope to be a resource for you both during ISP and later in the semester as you get settled in.

Asmita Gautam
Asmita Gautam ’20

Engineering major

I will be living in Chase House this year. I was the First-Year Representative for the International Student Organization last year and I am the social chair for this year. I am also a Gold Key Tour Guide. I’ve been involved with Smith Kpop Dance Crew and Leading Ladies (Smith’s musical theater group), so feel free to ask me about these organisations, too. I’m so excited to welcome you all to ISP! I had a blast during ISP last year, where I met some of my closest friends and found a home at Smith. ISP means a lot to me and I hope that each one of you have the same kind of experience as I did. Please feel free to reach out about anything and everything!

Crystal Zang
Crystal Zang ’20

Shanghai, China
Statistics & Data Sciences major; biology minor

I went to high school in Virginia for four years. I'm a cabinet member of Asian Student Association (ASA) and Consulting Club and I would be glad to help you to get involved. I'm also a member of AEMES Early Research Program. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions. I can't wait to meet you at ISP, to explore Smith and Northampton with you, and most importantly, to introduce you to more inspiring people. Welcome to Smith!

Dayana Bulchand
Dayana Bulchand ’18

Economics and psychology (double major)

I was born in Singapore but have lived in Malaysia my entire life. At Smith, I live in Park House right by Paradise Pond (come visit me!) and am majoring in economics and psychology. I have been involved in various clubs and organizations at Smith, including the Glee Club, Student Government Association Senate and Smithies in Business. I love to socialize, go on adventures and I am always ready to share my Smith pride. I am so excited to help you kick-start your journey at Smith. I empathize with the hardships of traveling and living somewhere completely new, especially being so far away from home. Therefore, I am very eager to help you feel at home and ease your transition to Smith. Feel free to shoot me an email at

Farida Sabry
Farida Sabry ’18

Alexandia, Egypt
Computer science and engineering (double major)

On campus I'm the tech and design chair for Smithies In CS, and an active member of the Middle East & North African Student Alliance (MENA). This is my third ISP and I keep selfishly coming back because I know the incredible enthusiasm and excitement of first-years is enough to push me through a whole year worth of stress! I can't wait to meet you all and share all my wisdom about surviving Smith!

Helena Thompson
Helena Thompson ’18

London, England
Government major; history minor

This year I'm the president of the International Student Organization's cabinet, and I'm really looking forward to meeting you all soon! Feel free to reach me at and welcome to Smith!

Hilda Nalwanga
Hilda Nalwanga ’18

Kampala, Uganda

I was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, but recently, my family moved to a small town outside of the city where people still really pay long visits to each other without setting up appointments, say "how are you doing" when they actually mean it, and give each other free food and gifts when it's not Christmas. On campus, I am one of the cultural chairs of the Smith African and Caribbean Students' Association. I also work at the Lazarus Center for Career Development and the library. I am excited to contribute in small ways to enabling international students to find comfort and a home at Smith.

Lily Lee
Lily Lee ’19

South Korea
Government and Education & Child study (double major)

I love teaching, serving others and spending time with children! I am actively involved in the mentoring programs at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement. I am also part of the Student Government Association Curriculum Committee and Capen House Council. I am here to assist you and help you feel comfortable at Smith. As an international student, I have been in your shoes, and I know exactly how it feels like to step into a new environment, so I hope I can alleviate some of your anxieties and concerns. If you have any questions feel free to email me at

Mai Ngo
Mai Ngo ’20

Psychology and computer science (double major)

During my first year I was involved in house council and event organizing work with the wellness department. Next year I’ll be one of the two co-chairs for the Vietnamese Students Association. You’ll also catch me working in the Community Service Office. My first year was definitely exciting as it was my first time abroad. However, Smith has been incredibly welcoming, and I’ve enjoyed learning in my classes and from the people I get to work with. ISP has provided me with a great source of support and I hope to make it a great experience for you. I can’t wait to get to know you all, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

Qinqin Xu
Qinqin Xu ’18

Psychology and economics (double major)

A big part of my Smith life revolves around Christian faith; being part of the Christian fellowship on our campus, I got to engage in deep conversations, going through ups and downs with others and learn from each other’s trajectory. With its diverse curricula and awesome professors, Smith is a supportive and free place to explore and have a better understanding of the meanings of and truths in life. My passion for counseling also prompts me to reach out to different people and get to know them personally, so I would LOVE to talk with you about any concerns or issues and let’s figure things out together!

Ruth Tekleab Mekbib
Ruth Tekleab Mekbib ’19

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sociology major; economics minor

During my first year, I was the First Year Representative for ISO, which helped me understand the vitality of international students to the general Smith community and how different events can help bridge the gap between international students and domestic students by sharing cultures. My ISP experience was simply amazing because I met so many wonderful people from all around the world and got to learn about their cultures while sharing my own. I hope your experience will be as meaningful and the friendships you make long-lasting.

Simren Nagrath
Simren Nagrath ’19

Delhi, India
Comparative literature major; economics minor

I have been a member of EKTA (South Asian Students Organization) since my first year and this year I will be a part of the Student Ambassador Program as well. ISP was very memorable for me as it was my introduction to Smith as an international student. Not only was it extremely enjoyable but it also made me value the international community at Smith. I hope to make it as fun and comfortable for you as well. I look forward to getting to know you!

Starry Zhou
Starry Zhou ’20

Wuhan, China
Economics and statistics & data science (double major)

I am involved in Smithies in Business, cheerleading and CISCO, a Chinese students’ organization on campus. I have grown and learned so much in my first year at Smith, and in fact, ISP was where all these great adventures started, so I really am passionate about sharing my experience with incoming international students! I can't wait to hang out with you and hear your great stories!

Vanessa Bethel
Vanessa Bethel ’AC

The Bahamas

Last year I was an incoming student and attended ISP; it was such an awesome experience! I am thrilled to be part of this year’s program. ISP is a great way to develop friendships and to get settled into your new life at Smith. All of the sessions are really helpful and important. I serve as a senator in the Student Government Associaton and as a liaison in the sociology department. I’m excited to meet you all and I am happy to help you as you get acquainted with Smith and life in the U.S. Don’t hesitate to email me or speak to me during ISP and beyond!