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TTU News

A newly organized residence hall opening this fall at Tennessee Tech University will help students learn to say “Home Sweet Home” in many languages.

That’s because it’s designated specifically for TTU’s international students and others whose fields of study will likely introduce them to cultures different from their own. Students majoring in sociology, foreign languages, and world cultures and business, for instance, will be eligible to live there.

“The concept for an international residence hall came directly from TTU President Bob Bell about two years ago, but for a number of reasons, we weren’t prepared to implement it then,” said Roger Dickson, TTU’s director of Residential Life. “After such a long inception period, though, we’re excited to finally bring this idea to life.”

International students have a deep interest in meeting American students who want to learn more about other cultures, says Charles Wilkerson, director of TTU’s International Student Affairs, and they have begun requesting housing arrangements that can make that interaction easier.

"In years when the international enrollment was low, having an international residence hall would never have been a reality," Wilkerson said. "This year, with the new enrollments of incoming freshmen, exchange and transfer international students, we can make a concerted effort to have the facilities filled with international students and American students."

An advantage of having such a specialized residence hall, Dickson said, is to create a living and learning environment that fosters the sharing of many different customs.

“Its purpose is to help ease the transition of our international students and to provide other students with insights into different cultural traditions,” he said.

The building that has been designated as the international residence hall is M.S. Cooper, which is located directly across from the Roaden University Center on Dixie Avenue and also houses the university’s Residential Life offices.

It is TTU’s fifth specialty residence hall. The university also has two residence halls for engineering students and one each for business and honors students.

“Our first specialty residence hall was opened several years ago for engineering students, and it was a tremendous success,” Dickson said.

Students who choose to live in any of the specialty residence halls pay additional fees, amounts of which are determined by the office or department sponsoring the arrangement.

TTU’s International Student Affairs Office sponsors the international residence hall.