There are many different ways to get support on campus for a variety of common concerns.
Here we describe some of the main resources available at CUA and how to access them.
International Student and Scholar Services
ISSS is the primary resource for international students at CUA. This office advocates for international students and provides opportunities for intercultural education and exchange through several cultural programs throughout the year. These events can be a helpful, fun way to meet other international students and to socialize with fellow CUA students. They work closely with Enrollment Services to issue the appropriate immigration documents for incoming and returning students. Once students have arrived at CUA, ISSS helps students with their adjustment to the DC area and continues to assist with relevant immigration regulations. Their website offers practical tips for questions such as how to get a driver's license, open a bank account, and navigate the city.
International Buddy Program
This program, run through ISSS, connects international students to domestic students and allows participants to develop and connect through intercultural relations. Buddies are domestic students who have studied abroad and are interested in helping international students adjust to life at CUA. With their Buddies, international students have opportunities to go on multiple cultural excursions throughout the year and have an automatic resource to help them get acquainted with their new home.
The Counseling Center is the university's on-campus mental health agency and is open to any enrolled CUA student. As a mental health agency, the Counseling Center primarily works with students who are experiencing emotional difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, depression, grief, or relationship problems. For international students, the Counseling Center can be a space to speak with a professional about topics such as homesickness, adjustment to a new culture, and connecting with others.
Individual therapy provides students with a safe, confidential space to process their experiences. For most students, therapy is a way to learn new ways of coping with stressors and to enhance their existing strengths. Therapy is always collaborative, and students will work with their therapist to identify goals and priorities for therapy.
In collaboration with International Student & Support services, the Counseling Center has offered a monthly drop-in discussion group for undergraduate and graduate international students called Cross-Cultural Conversations. This is for students who wish to better understand their experiences in a new culture as well as address potential challenges related to cross-cultural adjustment as they transition into new sociocultural norms and face new academic demands. This group also teaches coping skills and strategies to maximize their academic and emotional success as well as provide psychoeducation about American culture and the U.S. Educational System. Group members are encouraged to bring their lunch. Free pizza will be provided during select meetings!
For situations in which a student is highly distressed, the Counseling Center offers same-day walk-in appointments. During these appointments, students can discuss their situation and consult with a therapist about how to best proceed. Some students feel better after just one such meeting, and other students may decide with their counselor that they would be best served by pursuing ongoing services (i.e. individual or group therapy).
Counseling Center clinicians are available to consult with students, parents, faculty, and staff members about matters related to students' mental health and well-being.
Student Health Services
Student Health Services provides support for physical health concerns. Students tend to go to SHS to address physical health concerns, such as fever, flu, medications, or pain.
Center for Academic Success
The Center for Academic Success provides academic support around such topics as note-taking, time management, and study strategies, and this office helps students meet their academic goals. Tutoring services are also available for a variety of academic topics. Additionally, the Center for Academic Success provides workshops throughout the year about several relevant issues, such as time management, how to succeed in foreign language classes, how to prep for exams, and how to organize papers.
Disability and Support Services (DSS)
DSS is available to answer questions concerning accommodations and services available. In addition, they are available to provide information about and give referrals to admissions, registration, financial aid, and other services within the university. DSS can help you with assessing your needs in such areas as housing accommodations, attendants, interpreters, readers, transportation, classroom and course accommodations, tutors, notetakers, and adaptive equipment.
Intensive English Program (IEP)
IEP was established for undergraduate and graduate international students who prior to their higher education studies require the support of further training in English.
CUA Writing Center
The CUA Writing Center is committed to helping students develop as writers. They offer one-on-one consultations with student writers of all levels, at all stages of the writing process. They work with students in collaborative consultations where dialogue, practice, and discovery are paramount.
The Advising Center is a resource for undergraduate students that can provide guidance on choosing classes, majors, minors, and other academic matters.
The Nest is a CUA website where students can get information about upcoming campus events and student organizations. This can be a great way to find opportunities to connect with other students based on similar interests.
CUA Student Organizations
Student organizations can be a great way to meet other CUA students who share your interests and identities. The Nest includes a complete listing of student organizations on campus. We have included a partial list below of some groups that are centered on specific racial/ethnic identities, languages, or nationalities.
- Arabic Club
- Black Student Alliance (BSA)
- Chinese Club
- CUA Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CUA-CSSA)
- CUA Gaels
- CUA Student Organization of Latinos (CUA SOL)
- Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS)
- French Club
- German Club
- Indus Valley Association
- Italian Club
- Saudi Students Association (SSA)
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
- Spanish Club
Center for Cultural Engagement
The Center for Cultural Engagement offers intercultural programs that provide opportunities for students to learn and engage in various activities and discussions about culture. Previous offerings have included lunchtime discussions, guest speakers, and Alternative Spring Break.