Graduation Day – The day every student at National University is waiting for
Experience report by Theresa B.
During my study abroad semester at National University I had the chance to take part at a very special event – the Commencement Ceremony. This is the day of graduation; the day which is probably the day every student is waiting for. During this day I volunteered as an International Ambassador of National University, which allowed me to get a closer look at this “typical American event”.
And really, this whole graduation day was exactly how I expected it after seeing it many, many times in American movies.
Like a movie scene
Exactly like in a movie scene of an American high school or university graduation, everybody was dressed up. Girls and women were mostly wearing dresses and men wore a suit. But – of course – on top of that the graduates wore “cap and gown”, the traditional clothing for academic settings.
The students’ gowns, also known as robes, were either black or dark blue. What was surprising to me was, that the caps were often designed individually. Little notes, poems or names were painted on the back of the black caps and sometimes they were decorated with flowers, pictures, glitter or special ornaments, too. On top of that the graduates wore necklaces made out of flowers or folded bank notes.
The ceremony begins
The event took part at Petco Park, the Baseball Stadium of San Diego. Because there were over 2,000 students graduating from National University within the last year, this huge venue was necessary. At the beginning of the ceremony, all students were walking onto the field of the stadium, where chairs and a stage were waiting for them. After a lot of speeches and honoring, every single student got called by name, entered the stage and received their diploma. And what happened afterwards? Of course, they were throwing their caps in the air!
In the end students left the stadium with their family and friends to celebrate their graduation.
My job as an International Ambassador
National University is always looking for International Ambassadors who support the International Office. They need volunteers especially for certain events, for example on Orientation Day when new international students arrive at National University. On this day the ambassadors guide the students around the campus and answer all their questions. Since Graduations Day is a special event, too, the international office was glad to have more volunteers helping. My job was to support international students at the day of the event, we helped them to dress up and organized a get-together with drinks and food before the ceremony.
If you’re interested in being an International Ambassador during your time at National University just talk to the International Student Service Team, I am sure they will be happy about your interest!