EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – It was a rolling out the welcome mat for hundreds of new University of Oregon students from around the world Saturday in Eugene, before the start of the college school year.
The Friendship Foundation for International Students hosted the newest Ducks from all over Saturday, September 18th, 2011, at Armitage Park in Eugene.
The group links foreign students with local Eugene-area host families and activities throughout the year, as the students get used to their new culture and surroundings.
More than 1,500 international students will make up the University of Oregon’s student body this year, which is a new record.
Saturday, The Oregon Duck was on hand to welcome students, along with University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy.
“They'll make friendships where people from here can connect over both business opportunities and travel opportunities and all kinds of ways we connect as human beings,” says Piercy.
“So you're right, it's a very small world right now and these kind of connections make a real difference,” says Piercy.
“Once they're here, they kind of become a fabric of the whole city and community and really enrich us,” says Lariviere.
68 different countries make up the University of Oregon’s international student population. China sends the most students, followed by South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and France.