Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Campus Activites Connecting International Students and American Students

A few weeks ago the International Culture Club sponsored an Indian Dinner Event on campus through the support of SGA. It was truly a wonderful event that brought together many international student and some american students centered around the idea of sharing an international meal together. As I walked around the room it was so wonderful to see different students connecting with each other; asking questions, discussing the food, or just relaxing next to one another. There were a few students that I gently encouraged to walk around and meet new people and they did, that doesn't usually happen, this was so wonderful for me :) For years I have been at events or even hosted events for international students with american students involved and it is always a challenge to get people to try to make connections....Why do you think this is so difficult?


Anonymous said...

I think this involves people being afraid to leave their confort zone. People are more apt to talking to others of similar interests, but many people start from the outside and then work in. People are more open to others when language, culture, or even appearances are of common interests. Stepping out of this "safe" area means that they have a chance of being rejected, insulted, or even discriminated against, even though the mostly likelihood outcome would be acceptance. It's the fear of not being taken for who you are.

-Tabitha Lee

Ayumi Hirano said...

I agree with you, Tabitha. At the same time, I think many international students, including myself, are just not used to being in such a social setting, and often times they need to be somewhat "forced" to start communicating with each other. Starting an event with a small-group icebreaking exercise is always very helpful. Events at ICC are great because the members are both int'l and American students who have already built friendships, and they create an environment to which others can just jump in and make their own connections. I'm still upset I missed that dinner!! ;)