Troy hosts incoming international students

Published 11:00 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

Shelia Jackson, Troy tourism director, center, with incoming Troy University international students who toured the Johnson Center for the Arts during the city’s “Welcome to Troy” luncheon Saturday.

The City of Troy played host to 150 incoming Troy University international students from 15 countries on Saturday.

During the luncheon at The Studio, the students received a heartfelt welcome from the city by Troy City Council Vice President Wanda Moultry and were given a verbal tour of the city by Shelia Jackson, Troy tourism director, and Catherine Jordan, administrative assistant.

“The City of Troy has hosted a welcoming luncheon for the new Troy University international students for several years,” Jackson said. “We want these students to know that the city welcomes them and wants them to consider Troy their home away from home. We also introduced them to the services that Troy has available to them and to its many shopping, recreational, dining, arts and entertainment opportunities.”

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Jordan said the international students got a glimpse at the tremendous amount of talent within the city when Jackson sang grace.

“Most of the time when a blessing is being said or sung, eyes will be closed,” Jordan said.

“But when Shelia started to sing, out came the cell phones and iPads. Even before she finished, the students had started clapping. They gave her a standing ovation. So, one of their first impressions of the city will be a wonderful and lasting one.”

Jordan said the city wants the international students to know about downtown Troy.

“The downtown area has specialty shops that rival those in large cities and some really neat restaurants that are great gathering places for university students,” Jordan said. “Troy University is great and so is the City of Troy.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts partnered with the city and opened its doors to the international students.

“The students were very impressed with the Johnson Center,” Jordan said. “They enjoyed the exhibits, especially, the ‘Alabama in the Making’ hands-on exhibit. With the five kiosks, the students were able to learn about the different regions of the state. I’m sure that many of them will go back when they can spend more time at the arts center. The kiosks are good opportunities for them to get more accustomed to the English language.”

The ‘Welcome to Troy’ luncheon was one of many town and gown opportunities that are available, not only to international students, but to all students at the university.

“The City’s relationship with Troy University is a very amiable one,” Jackson said.

“And, the City of Troy looks forward to continuing that relationship to include the new international students at Troy University.”