Domestic and international students in the International Student Association Club came together on Wednesday to hold their weekly International Tea Time, which is a meeting that celebrates a different culture every week.
Various students from different countries including the United States, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Columbia and other countries from around the world attended the event.
ISA members learned about aspects of Mexican culture like the Chupacabra, banda music and duranguense, a type of dance that originated in Mexico.
President Charles Caguioa, computer science major, gave a speech in the beginning that welcomed new members and explained the purpose of the ISA Club as a place where people can talk about their country.
“I was an international student before coming here from the Philippines seven years ago, so technically I was an international student,” Caguioa said “That’s why it means a lot to me trying to give back to international students.”
This year, Caguioa gave the club a new goal: to go big and blow the club events to attract more attention on campus.
“We’re trying to change it up a little bit more to where we want to educate more,” he said, “We want to make people more aware that there are different cultures here on campus, that there is so much diversity and that we need to understand that while we have something different, we also have a lot of things in common.”
“(Students) are always going to learn something different with this club and that’s what we’re going to bring to them,” Caguioa said.
Student Body Vice President Aldemar Sanchez, animal science and political science major, is also a member of ISA. He has been in the club for a year and says he has gained a lot from it.
“I learned a lot about our Office of International Student Services. It’s really great learning how their culture is different from mine is,” he said.
Sanchez encourages other students to join the club because he sees it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“I encourage (each student) to join this club because it does teach you a lot (about) what is outside of America pretty much. I encourage to join because you do grow a lot.
“I was officer last year and I grew a lot by planning events. It’s fun, you see. We’re always joking a lot, laughing and eating different foods.
“I just encourage them if (students) want to start in a club somewhere, ISA is a great starting point,” Sanchez said.
Albert Saucedo, a computer science major and ISA club Vice President, has been in the club for two years and says he has grown to love it because it helped him become active in the community.
David Tilahun who is the ISA Club advisor and International Admissions Specialist was there for the Tea Time.
He is originally from Ethiopia and migrated to the United States “many moons ago.”
“I have learned a lot from students interacting with each other, learning about different cultures. I enjoy meeting each of them and I enjoy also helping them out with their leadership skills, their planning, their programs and activities and collaborating with one another and other clubs as well,” Tilahun said.
He hopes that members gain new skills in the club and that they go on to achieve transferring to the University of their choice.
The ISA will cover other countries in the future International Tea Times. Caguioa says he hopes to cover Ireland, Germany and Denmark.