Club Helps International Family Grow

The Southwestern International Club gather for a photo.

The Southwestern International Club gather for a photo.

(edited by B. J. Mondesir)

International Student Club (ISC) was founded by Henry Huynh, a Vietnamese international student currently enrolled at Southwestern Adventist University. ISC’s mission is to encourage the interaction among international students at Southwestern, support their needs physically, mentally and spiritually.

The club also raises cultural awareness in Southwestern and promotes social interaction between international and non-international students. We occasionally have meetings that bring about the cultural exchanges between students from many different regions of the world. We present our cultures, our customs, traditional clothes, dishes, festivities and a variety of other aspects.

The best cultural exchange we have is sharing our traditional dishes on special occasions such as Sabbath and Starfest. Many students, including myself, enjoy preparing potlucks for Sabbath, which brings us much closer together.

It takes a lot of work to prepare a meal for so many people. We have to plan what to cook, get the ingredients, and then clean after everyone is done eating. Despite facing difficulties along the way, we support each other and work as a team. This provides a bonding experience, an opportunity for us to know other members on a more personal level.

Our club also makes sure that international students have opportunities to discover the surroundings of Southwestern. We provided rides for international students to many different places, such as the State Fair and Six Flags. These activities give us a chance to get together and have some fun with each other after a hard week of school. We also provide rides to places close to Southwestern to fulfill the needs of those who don’t have cars.

To me, ISC is not merely a club, but more like a family. The activities we have bring us into interaction and provide a spark to our friendship. ISC encourages international students to become more confident and comfortable in sharing the good things about their country and culture. As a member of ISC, I got to know many different people and became friends with them.

I was not aware of the diversity of the Southwestern student body until I joined ISC. We all have different backgrounds and customs, so it is hard sometimes for some individuals to blend in and get involved with everybody else. As a club, or I would like to say, as a family, our goal is to try to encourage everyone to speak up and open up to one another. By doing so, we believe that we can bring the students at Southwestern, both international and non-international, together as a whole, which will benefit the school spirit and the development of Southwestern Adventist University.

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