The International Students Office orchestrated a small gathering to welcome all new and returning WAU international students to the 2019-2020 academic year. After a long day, it was refreshing to meet new faces coming from these spectacular destinations we all wish to visit. As part of getting to know each other and appreciating the diversity of cultures represented at WAU, students were asked to choose a person from a different continent than theirs and learn about them. After learning each other’s names, majors, and year, students were tasked to find cultural aspects that they shared in common and one aspect they differed in. The last portion of this interactive activity was to learn a word in a different language.
This exercise proved to be very enlightening as students from continents one would think “completely different in culture” revealed to have a lot in common. From food to dance and familial traditions, it was all surprises with each group that presented. An example is how Rwanda and India share a type of food. In both countries, this is made of just wheat flour, salt and oil, and is called “Chappathi” or “roti.”
All in all, the room was filled with excitement as students shared the new words they had just learned. While some nailed them, others had done a great job at provoking waves of laughter all around the room.
As in any other event hosted by the International Student Office, at the end of the program, students were treated to some sweet delicacies and refreshments catered especially for them. This experience reminded us once more that WAU is a place to call home no matter where we are from.