Monday, September 30, 2013

Learn About Unique Cultures through VISA


No matter where you are from, fitting in at college can be tough.

I know many times that I have been the type to cling to people that are similar to me. Fortunately, through different clubs and organizations that Vol State has to offer, I have met many interesting people.

One club, Vol State's VISA International Club gives students the opportunities to branch out of the norm and meet students that are from other cultures.

VISA is a club that anyone can join. You can meet international students that are on campus. Vol State has students from countries such as India,Egypt, Guatemala, and even China.

The club meets once a month. During the meetings they usually have discussions about the different customs in the countries that members are from.

Faculty Advisor Kay Grossberg leads the meeting
Kay Grossberg, the club's faculty advisor and also French instructor, provided in more detail what the type of topics were discussed.

"One week last year we had a discussion about dating customs within our members' countries," said Grossberg.
"Do people date or do parents have arranged dating? How do you show that you are interested in someone?"

In the past, the club has participated in service learning projects that have allowed them to help countries in time of need.

Countries such as Japan has received relief from students here at Vol State. When the Tsunami devastated Japan in 2011, students that were studying here from Japan, collected donations through making traditional origami and calligraphy.

 The group puts their creativity together and plans events like the upcoming Fall Fiesta or Movie Night.
VISA has a diverse group of members.

"Through events and activities such as service learning and Fall Fiesta, students get to experience new things that they probably would not have back home," said Kendra Jimenez, a student from Guatemala.

Sometimes for international students the challenge for making friends can be even greater than it is for American students.

Language and culture barriers sometimes keeps international and American students from interacting with each other.

I think that the VISA club is a great way to tear down those walls that limit students from getting to know each other, and may even help someone to make a new friend.






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