They hail from Thailand, Italy, Taiwan and the Czech Republic. Parker and Jenifer Hasenfus, the international student adviser, complete the group. Inspired by a suggestion from a former student after a difficult first year, Parker has greeted incoming international students at the airport and hosted them for seven years.
“Our program is successful because it helps with culture shock,” Parker said. “We show them what Vermont is like to help them get a sense of place.”
This group has already had adventures, including visits to the Shelburne Museum and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury, and a gondola ride up Mount Mansfield. Between sightseeing, Parker helped them open bank accounts and shop for items that Rooks need on Norwich’s Northfield campus.
At the Cabot cheese factory, students donned cow-patterned bracelets and sat with rapt attention watching a video. Parker sat among them providing explanations. On the ensuing factory tour, students observed production through large windows, then hungrily sampled the cheese. continue