Cultures come to campus
November 15, 2010 —
Last week, students didn’t have to leave the country to find new culture. They didn’t even need to leave the campus.
International Education Week was celebrated nationally last week and at SVSU.
“We just want to help people be aware of and understand the impact they can have on international students on campus,” said Pat Shelley, international student adviser.
The most popular event was the international food festival in the RFoC on Tuesday. There were 1109 people that attended, an increase of 150 from last year.
Twelve countries were represented with an authentic cuisine.
“It reminded me of Epcot at Disney World,” said Abby Schmidt, a nursing freshman.
The International Students Club (ISC) hosted the event. Students picked up to three recipes from their home country and gave them to dining services.
Dining Services purchased the food and helped the club members prepare the food Sunday and Monday.
“We prepare the food out of a lot of love and joy,” said Nana Kwame Akowuah, a business and economics senior and president of ISC.
Akowuah said his favorite part was to be able let people taste food from his home country.
“They had a different flavor of food than I’ve ever tried,” said Erica Barnes, academic adviser.
Shelley said that the most popular food was from China and Saudia Arabia. But he added that it could be because SVSU has more students from those countries.
“The only bad thing is that it is crowded, but that’s a good thing, too,” Barnes said.
Wednesday night was the International Friendly Family Reception. It was a place for international students to connect with the SVSU community and Tri-city area.
Shelley said it was a way for international students to participate in American culture outside of SVSU. He wanted it to be a way for natural communication.
One woman repeatedly invites international students over for Boy Scout meetings and birthday parties, Shelley said.
“She’s a good example of what we’d like to see,” he added.
Thursday’s open house offered a tour of the new offices. It also showed the new classrooms and computer labs available for ELP classes and club meetings.
It was a celebration of the union of the International Programs, English Language Program and Study Abroad offices.
Each person’s office was decorated as a country, or in Shelley’s case, a continent.
Shelley’s office was decorated as Africa. Olives, nuts and guava juice were available and a drummer played on African drums.
The China office offered Chinese snacks and hot tea. Other countries represented included Poland and France.
Also on Thursday, traditional Indian dancer Sangeeta Kar performed and then taught a few dance steps.
Other events included a door decorating contest available to any office on campus.
The academic affairs office won. The door said “Celebrate Diversity” and had a 3D globe. Paper cut outs of people were holding hands around the world. Each person was decorated as a flag from a different country.
Monday, an auction raised more than $500 for the Abou Traore Scholarship Fund.
Abou Traore was a student from Senegal who studied at SVSU in 2005- 2007. He died in an accident in 2007. This scholarship was created to honor him.
“We’d like to thank all the people that participated in that,” said Shelley.