This year’s international student orientation kicked off Monday, Aug. 28 with a welcome dinner and a greeting from Binghamton University President Stenger.

The orientation included meetings for students and a reception for parents. Sessions were held on fire safety, staying well, U.S. culture and the U.S. higher education system, as well as meetings with academic advisers.

Nearly 700 students attended the orientation this year, up from around 500 last year.

“More international students applied to Binghamton at both the undergraduate and graduate levels this year, and more chose Binghamton in comparison to last year,” said Ellen Badger Ellen Badger, director of international student scholar services.

The influx of international students is a result of both an increase in applications and the recruitment efforts of the University, Badger said.

“Binghamton University has actively recruited international students, along with out-of-state students as well as our traditional population base in New York state for a number of years,” Badger said. “But U.S. colleges nationally are seeing increases in applications from international students and Binghamton is no exception.”

Badger said the appeal of BU to foreign students includes “academic excellence and reputation of the faculty, variety of course offerings, cost, reputation of Binghamton’s international outreach.”

According to Badger, international student enrollment will play a role in Binghamton’s plans to grow its enrollment by 2,000 students over the next five years. She said these students are an important part of the Binghamton community.

“Binghamton accepts the best students from all over the world,” Badger said. “Binghamton is committed to enhancing students’ preparation for a global society, and international students on campus, providing different perspectives both in and out of the classroom, is one way that happens.”

Xiaoheng Wang, who previously studied at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China, chose Binghamton for its academic reputation and its ability to further his career goals.

“The accounting major is one of the best in BU,” Wang said. “Additionally, BU has a sound relationship with some big companies and the career service is good, which makes it easier for international students to find an internship or full-time job.”

Yosep Lee, a senior born in South Korea but raised in Indonesia, said Binghamton offers both academic and social opportunities.

“I chose Binghamton for the environment and the atmosphere that the school provides for its students,” Lee said.

Lee said he is excited for the start of classes and the year ahead at Binghamton.

“So far I love the school and everyone in the school, who helped me to go through the orientation process without any big trouble,” Lee said. “Orientation leaders and faculty were responsible and dedicated and that is the kind of environment that I want to be surrounded by. I can’t wait to start my first day, which is the first chapter of my life in Binghamton.”