Worldly experiences are hard to come by unless they’re at International Connections.
More than 60 international students, multicultural advisers and resident assistants passionate about networking and diversifying Central Michigan University students’ on-campus experience, attended the event to share their knowledge of the world with those who are not so well-travelled.
Saudi Arabia native and international student Fahad Alghamdi is a freshman majoring in political science, and is studying English. He thinks this program, which took place in Kulhavi 141 and 142 on Sunday, is good and international students can learn from these types of events.
“I believe it has a positive influence on international students, especially about the language and the culture,” he said. “We as international students need to have these programs so we can learn.”
The event, organized by Kesseler Multicultural Adviser and Redford senior Areil Henderson and Wheeler multicultural adviser Cody Sapp, featured many activities fostering connections between U.S.-born and international students.
In the first activity, participants placed their hand on a roll of paper, creating a hand print in paint, and then international students had the opportunity to write “hello” in their native language.
In another activity, the organizers got participants into groups of 10, and students went around the table, answering basic questions about themselves to share with the group.
“Actually a lot of people said that it would be kind of difficult to get international students here, but we really had an excellent turnout,” said Sapp, a junior from Mount Morris.
Sapp believes in order to get international students involved and networked with their U.S.-born peers, there needs to be more events similar to International Connections.
“I think that a program that gets international students to mingle with the general population is nothing but good,” he said.
Bay City freshman David Burney hasn’t gotten the opportunity to meet international students before, and saw this as a chance to connect with international students and make some new friends.
“Since I’m going to be living in the Towers for the next couple of years, I just kind of want to network and get out a little bit and see what’s out there,” he said.
Food from Jimmy Johns and Insomnia Cookies was available to participants, as well as various beverages.
Junior Yuri Sugiyama, a Japanese student majoring in education, heard about the event from her friends and loves meeting new people.