The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

International Students Association hosts International Education Week, bring greater visibility to campus community

Tate Burchfield / Hilltop Views
Various students lining up to taste the cultural delights at the club’s cultural showcase. In this corner of the Moody Atrium, tables featured cuisine from Qatar, Korea, Bangladesh, Japan, France and Tanzania. Katya Riviera (center), can be seen giving a presentation about the Japanese chicken curry she prepared.

During the week of Nov. 13, the International Students Services, in conjunction with the International Students Association (ISA), celebrated International Education Week by hosting various events centered around international cultures on campus. Throughout the week, ISA held events like a postcard night, coffee and pastry, potluck and a cultural showcase.

International Education Week is a national joint initiative created by the U.S. State Department and the Department of Education. In their joint statement, they state that the two departments wish to promote a “robust exchange of students” to promote a more globally thoughtful group of leaders in the future.

The International Students Association is an organization that was created to foster a sense of community within the international student body at St. Edward’s, as well as provide support for students while they navigate the college process. The organization works with St. Edward’s International Student Services department to “support and advocate for international students on campus.” 

“It can be very alienating and isolating at St. Edward’s when you’re coming from another country,” Celia Corujo Gomez, president of the International Students Association, said. “Most of us come here without friends or family, so it is really important to build relationships for the students. Which is a resource the school cannot provide.”

The organizations have previously partnered together to host expeditions to familiarize students with the Austin area. Earlier this year, the groups collaborated with CapMetro to help students learn more about the city’s public transit and free fare. The club also serves to create spaces where international students’ voices are heard and amplified. This has been done through the club’s hosting of international student mixers, as well as tabling during several involvement fairs earlier in the semester.

“Being an international student, it is always an adventure here at St. Edward’s,” Melody Borg, ISA vice president, said. 

According to the school’s website, the student body consists of students from 36 different countries. Events like the  International Cultural Showcase allow students, local and international, to connect, celebrate and prosper. At the showcase, Borg was representing her home country, France, by presenting crepes and Quiche lorraine.

“In my opinion, I think it is great that we get to show off our cultures together,” Borg said. 

Several other culinary displays were featured at the showcase for attendees to pursue. Countries like Tanzania, France, Spain, Uganda and Guatemala were all represented. 

“It is important to have these events to bridge the gap between international and non-international students to foster greater inclusivity,” Katia Rivera, a student who was manning the Japanese cuisine table, said. “Through displaying our culture and heritage we can increase campus vibrancy as well as facilitate connection.” 

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Tate Burchfield, Staff Writer
Tate Burchfield is a first year student on the hilltop, and this is his first year writing for Hilltop Views. He is interested in politics and the arts. He is from Galveston Native and is excited to spend his time in Austin with Hilltop Views.

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