There were two orientation meetings for the foreign students working in Virginia Beach this Summer. I attended the second of the two meetings this year by the International Student Outreach Program (ISOP), which was held yesterday afternoon at Virginia Beach Baptist. (The first was on the same afternoon as the May TDCHR meeting.)
It was an overflow crowd in the fellowship hall. The students were addressed by representatives from the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD), the Social Security Administration, Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), Virginia Beach Public Libraries, the banking industry, and Virginia Beach Baptist's free Internet cafe for the students. As one representative said afterwards, she was concerned they were being hit with information overload.
As Eastern Europe is integrated into the European Union, the student migration here moves further east. They come from Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. Our newest entrant is from the Far East: China. The intriguing thing is that the Chinese students speak excellent English, much better than those from the other countries. That has far-reaching implications. (see: Japan in the early 20th Century.)
A few other notes from my journey yesterday:
1. Stopping at Hardee's for lunch on the way there, a senior couple from North Carolina was visiting. He told me, "If I lived here, it would take me a week to get anywhere."
If a visitor can pick up on our transportation problems that quickly, just think how they look to companies looking to locate here.
2. After adjournment, I went upstairs to see what bus schedules the Internet cafe needed for the students. Most everything. (They stock HRT schedules for them.) Sure enough, when I got back downstairs the students had taken all the sodas.
Being resourceful, I remembered that the bags the students were being given had a bottle of spring water in them. I found a leftover bag and got the water.
3. I was disappointed to see back-to-back trolleys on Route 30 (Atlantic Avenue). We need hybrid acquisition to run faster.
4. I stopped at the Pembroke East Transfer Center coming home. I ended up playing HRT Customer Service agent, helping a few people get home.