First-Year Experience

The first-year IA experience is built upon several components that are designed to help students adjust to life at The Ohio State University and then to immediately begin building the skill set needed to thrive in today’s globalized world.

Living-Learning Community01osupark-stradley

All first-year IA students who live on-campus are required to live with their fellow Scholars students in Smith-Steeb Hall during their first year. In ensuring students live together, we can help students build a tight-knit social network and provide accessible programming and advising.

Beginning with the Class of 2019, all second-year students will also be required to live on-campus. Returning sophomore IA Scholars are encouraged to continue living in Smith-Steeb, but are not required to do so. Returning IA Scholars are given priority housing assignments.

First-Year Seminar

During your first semester on campus you will take a one-credit hour seminar that is taught by the Program Manager. This course is designed to introduce you to topics related to international affairs in an academic context, while also building community and keeping you informed of IA events and programs. Since this is the main academic component of the first-year, it is meant to challenge students to think about the larger global context with which we live in.

By understanding the multitude of perspectives that exist within every global theme/topic, students will leave the seminar with a larger understanding of the complexities of the world around us.  Topics of discussion will include:

  • Identity and conflict
  • Global governance and international institutions
  • Conflict resolution and peace studies
  • Mobility, immigration, and refugees

IA Events and Involvement

The IA Leadership Council, with the help of the Program Manager, will be planning various IA events throughout the academic year. These events are designed to explore the themes of our scholars program, build community, and connect you to people and resources on campus and in Columbus. Every month there will social, community service, and academic events first and second year students will be required to attend.   Examples of events include the following:

  • Monthly dinners at various restaurants that feature international cuisine (Indian, Greek, Italian, Japanese, etc.)
  • Group excursions to local festivals, including the Columbus Greek Festival and the Columbus International Festival
  • Discussion groups on global, political, and cultural topics
  • Guest speakers including faculty, graduate students, Ohio State staff, and community leaders in international affairs
  • Service oriented events both on and off campus

Community Meetings

Every semester, first and second year IA Scholars are required to attend community meetings; these meetings are designed to discussion on international and/or global issues, feature guest speakers, provide for time to do networking and teambuilding activities, and more.

Starting fall semester 2019, fall semester community meetings will be mostly for second year students to prepare them for the Second Year Experience Project; starting spring semester 2020, these meetings will bring first and second year IA Scholars together to explore a wide variety of topics in international affairs, and will include professional development, cross-cultural, and academic exposure to the field.


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