We have a large number of international students in Troy University. According to Forbes, they make up about 4 percent of the student population of all campuses.
However, we meet international students everyday in our classes.
To help build good relationships between international students and American students, there are a variety of events and organizations to enhance acknowledgment of other countries, cultures and people.
International Student Culture Organization (ISCO) is a large and well-known organization at Troy University. According to Troy University’s website, its purpose is “to create an environment for international and American students that will allow them to share their culture and ideas, and promote all social and cultural events that give an opportunity to explore other cultures.”
It hosts ISCO Night, the annual ISCO Festival, Tea for Troy and other small meetings almost every month. The participants are provided refreshments and opportunities to meet students from a variety of backgrounds.
Another large organization is the Chinese Student and Scholars Association. According to Troy University’s website, it organizes a Chinese New Year Celebration including a banquet and accompanying entertainment.
The participants can enjoy Chinese performances, food and music. In addition, the participants have a chance to win a prize.
We also have small but diverse communities for other countries. The Korean Club is one of those communities for the exchange of culture and ideas.
Hyojin Kim, a sophomore communication major from Korea, has several experiences attending the international culture events.
“I had such a great time enjoying the food, meeting a lot of international students, and sharing similar feelings about living in United States,” she said. “I could hardly see American students were coming at those events and I thought the lower degree of participation of American students should be raised anyway.”
“It is not easy to see the poster related to the ISCO events because I am usually at the Bibb Graves Hall and I couldn’t see it even at Trojan Dining or Trojan Center,” said Jinee Jung, a senior general business major from Korea.
Jung said that ISCO events have to be promoted in more active means to allow students to easily access the information about the events. She said most posters related to ISCO events are in Patterson Hall, and it is hard to get the information if students do not check their Trojan email regularly.
Understanding different cultures is not only an important value at Troy University, but is a requirement in the world known as “cultural competency.”
The first step to understanding other cultures would be having interest in people from foreign countries. Moreover, the promotion of international events should be conducted more actively and creatively so that students can access the information more easily.
For more information about the dates and locations of international student events, follow the “Troy University International Students” Facebook page or to check the Trojan email on a regular basis.