SMC hosts international social
CAITLIN HOUSLEY | Monday, August 30, 2010
The College Student Diversity Board hosted its first ever international meet and greet and ice cream social Sunday.
The event welcomed new and returning international students.
At least five countries were represented at the event: Australia, Korea, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico.
Students and faculty mingled from table to table, sharing ice cream and conversation with the new students. Some Saint Mary’s students shared their own stories about studying abroad.
“I think it’s really important that the students hosted this event, so the international students wouldn’t feel shy to ask questions,” Morgan Gay, a senior on the Student Diversity Board, said.
Conversation topics at the tables varied from weekend activities to questions about the international students’ experiences in their home countries. The international students discussed how life is different in the United States.
Sarah Power, an international student from Australia studying law, noted a big difference in the classes in the U.S. versus Australia.
“It’s the little things that are different, like the other day when our teacher mentioned the First Amendment, we didn’t know what that was,” she said. “Or, it’s certain words like ‘Congress.'”
Some international students said dorm life is significantly different, especially those who had lived at home.
“We would never think about going to class in our pajamas back home, so I brought mainly dress clothes,” Power said.
For some international students, Saint Mary’s is their first time in college.
“I studied here my senior year of high school and am now studying as a college freshman here, but I did get to go home for the two months of break,” Carolina Tapia Nieto, a freshman international student from Peru, said.
Kelly Reidenbach, the vice president of the Student Diversity Board, emphasized the importance current Saint Mary’s students play in helping these students, and she also mentioned the importance that international students play in helping Saint Mary’s students.
“I’m a junior and have only met a few international students in my time here so far,” she said. “This event is a great way for students to learn about each other’s cultures.”