The calendar just flipped to November, and that means we are on the cusp of one of my favorite times of the Mines year. No, hold the Christmas music for at least another month. I’m talking about International Day: an annual event put on by the International Student Council (ISC) and International Office to bring the campus together in celebration of cultural diversity. We had a chance to talk to Siew Chiang, the current ISC present about what this day means to international and domestic students alike.
Siew started her involvement in the international student community last year as an international liaison officer. “I basically helped the international students connect with American students,” said Siew. Part of her duties included planning events. ISC has already sponsored several events this year, including a Diwali celebration hosted by the Indian Student Association, but I-Day is different. “Our other events are low-key, mostly just for international students,” said Siew, “but I-Day is for everyone.”
“Since there aren’t a lot of international students on campus, it gives us an opportunity to expose our cultures to everyone,” said Siew. Non-United States citizens make up about 10% of the Mines student population, representing over 70 countries. “A lot of people haven’t traveled to other countries, so we bring other countries to them,” said Siew.
Set to be the first major event in the newly asbestos-abated Green Center, I-Day is comprised of two major parts; the ‘world bazaar’ featuring the cuisines of numerous countries and cultural talent show. “International foods are introduced to people, [and] a lot of performances happen from different countries,” said Siew.
“You get the exposure of having a global community in one day.” Siew, a Brazilian native, is most excited to share brigadeiros (a chocolate bite-sized dessert) and cocado mole (a coconut cookie/candy). It’s impossible to choose my favorite I-Day food, but the past couple of years I have spent most of my tickets on middle-eastern ice cream, spring rolls, African meats and Brazlian pastries. Last year’s show included South Korean rap, Argentinian dance, and funway walks from several countries. Food tickets are $1 each, and most food samples are priced modestly between one and four tickets.
I-Day is a showcase of the best parts of Mines, and it’s happening soon! Stop by Friedhoff Hall in Green Center on November 16th starting at 5 p.m. to indulge in foods from all over the globe. The culture show starts in the Green Center theater at 7 p.m.
November 6, 2019 @ 12:36 pm lance johnson
Int’l Day is important because being an international student away from home difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources, including the White House, to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey.
Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand.
Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.”
Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
Good luck to all at Mines or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest! Supporters of int’l students must shout louder.