Many of the staff at John Carroll have had the opportunity to live or travel overseas, and we know that feeling of both excitement and concern that students may have when they first come to a foreign country. It is because of this that we talk about “Soft Landings” at John Carroll.

Soft Landings is a series of programs for our new international students and a mindset of how we approach international student recruitment at John Carroll University. We consider the differing levels of preparation that international students may have when it comes to cultural, social, and academic needs.

There are many aspects to our care for the individual. Soft Landings is a simple phrase and reminder that from the time a student chooses JCU and the end of the first semester, we must meet students where they are, and gently help them to have a soft landing that will create a great foundation for success. It means that when you arrive at John Carroll University, we will help ensure a soft, warm, and welcoming landing.


  • In-country Orientation and Transition: We try to address many of your questions and concerns before you leave your home country. When we have several new students starting from the same city abroad, JCU will travel to that city to provide in-person seminars for new students. JCU staff and faculty will talk about the academic experience at the university and what students can expect. The goal behind the seminars is to help you prepare for your college experience in the U.S. and learn about Cleveland and the JCU campus prior to your journey.
  • On-campus Orientation: International students move into the on-campus residence halls at least two weeks before the official start of the semester. You will have time to meet faculty, staff, and your peer mentor and adjust to the culture before classes begin. A full schedule of meetings and fun activities will help you meet other students, learn how to get around, and feel comfortable before the semester begins.
  • First Semester Support: As you begin your studies at John Carroll, we make sure that you are set with a strong foundation of support and care.
    • Hand-selected academic advisor will assist you with course registration and meet with you regularly to make sure you are on track and successful in your studies. Your academic advisor will also make sure you are aware and comfortable with all the campus resources available to you, cluding our University Writing Center, the library, and other academic support programs.
    • Hand-selected peer mentor serves as your personal counselor and guide to matters inside and outside of the classroom. Whether you have concerns related to campus, the community, or academics, your peer mentor will be here to answer questions and provide assistance.
    • Specially selected U.S. roommate is a new incoming student who has indicated an interest in learning about international issues and culture. H/she has volunteered to be actively involved in your transition and acclimation to campus and Cleveland. All incoming international freshmen will reside with their U.S. roommates in a residential learning community where they can mutually support each other.
    • An intentionally designed first semester course schedule helps minimize academic obstacles many international students face during their first year on a U.S. campus. For a non-native English speaker or someone who is less familiar in a 100% English language teaching environment, you will find your first semester course load more manageable while still challenging and advancing your English language acquisition and acculturation.

Staffing and design of the Soft Landings programs will cover the concerns of students and parents, and is a great representation of our caring community at John Carroll. The program aims to help parents feel comfortable sending their child thousands of miles away from home. A focus on academic rigor for our students is balanced with “early alert” reports provided by our faculty, a review of student midterm grades, and other structured meetings that students will have throughout their first semester. Parents can have access to our JCU “Web for Parents” system that allows them access to student grades, billing information, and more, all in a secure website specific to their child at any time.