IU Is Everywhere

From Bloomington to Bangkok, meet members of the IU family who are acting as ambassadors for the university.

Qinning Pu, China

Kelley School of Business junior Qinning Pu shares her IU experiences with incoming international students through the IU2U program, which she took part in before arriving on campus her freshman year.

For most international students, one of the biggest challenges of attending college abroad is leaving their support system thousands of miles behind.

But Qinning Pu had established a community of friends and mentors before she even set foot on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

Qinning PuView print quality image
Qinning Pu. Photo by Chris Meyer, IU Communications

As an incoming freshman, Pu took part in the IU2U Program through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. The daylong orientation in Shanghai, China, helped Pu learn about life abroad and as an IU student directly from the source: IU staff and students.

She left the workshop with more than valuable knowledge that would help her navigate the waters at IU. Pu had established bonds with several of her fellow classmates, most of whom she is still friends with today.

"I met all of my best friends and even my boyfriend there that day. We were all in the same workshop," she said. "I feel like it was an amazing life experience for me."

Realizing the impact the experience has for the international student population on campus, Pu became an IU2U student leader herself.

The summer after her sophomore year, she traveled back home to China, leading workshops in Shanghai and Beijing along with three other IU international students and six domestic students.

The workshop is split into two tracks: one for students and one for their parents. The international students attend sessions on topics such as what it's like to be an IU student, course selection and navigating campus, while their parents hear about the process for paying tuition, immunization information and more. During the wrap-up portion, parents and students come together for a question-and-answer session.

Pu's experience with the workshop the second time around was much different from her experience as an incoming student. As a student leader, she was aware that she was representing IU.

"I had to think about what the students and their parents thought of IU, and my behaviors and all the things I said would affect their opinions," said Pu, a junior studying accounting information systems in the Kelley School of Business.

The summer after her sophomore year, Qinning Pu traveled back home to China, leading IU2U workshops in Shanghai and Beijing along with three other IU international students and six domestic students. Photos courtesy of Qinning Pu

And this responsibility extends beyond the daylong workshops, as the student leaders create group messages via an app to keep in contact with the students and parents from their sessions. Even now, more than a semester later, Pu still answers questions from those who were in her group.

While IU2U student leaders serve only one term, Pu remained connected to the program as a media team manager after returning from her summer as an ambassador. In her role, she manages the production of videos for the website and workshops. Her goal is to help create content that better illustrates the IU student experience, both inside and outside the classroom.

From being a student in the program as an incoming freshman to being an ambassador as both a student leader and a media team member, Pu said that being a part of IU2U has been one of her favorite aspects of her time at IU so far. She enjoys sharing her IU experience, helping students make the best out of their time here and easing parents' concerns about their child being so far away. And most of all, she likes knowing she will leave the university having made an impact.

"I didn't want to just study for all of my four years here," Pu said. "I want to impact new students and contribute my efforts to really be a part of IU."