By Denton Josey, Student Reporter
The International Students Association invites students to the Campus Center on Oct. 13 from 9 _” 11 p.m. for Chai Cafe. Chai Cafe is an event where international and American students can take a break from studying, meet new people and learn about each other’s culture.
The university’s international students comprise most of ISA, but ISA president Marcela Gutierrez said the purpose of Chai Cafe is to integrate people from all cultures.
“Everything we do is open to American students,” Gutierrez said.
“It’s intended to be a time for relaxing and a break from your hectic week,” Gutierrez said. She also said the meeting is a great opportunity for people to escape their regular routine and meet people they may not otherwise talk with very much.
“It’s just such a blessing-it’s so diverse,” Gutierrez said. “It’s so funny all the differences, but you can still see we’re the same, too.”
Recently, Chai Cafe had theme nights where the decor and food reflected certain cultures, such as Latin American night or Asian night, even Texas night. The cafe takes place in either the Hilton Room or Living Room, depending on availability.
Yuri Sudo, sophomore undeclared major from Ibraki, Japan, said she enjoys Chai Cafe because she can have a time just to talk with friends from all over the world.
“Well, I get to meet many friends from other countries,” Sudo said. “I usually can’t meet everyone because we are busy with classes, but with Chai Cafe we can talk.”
Chai Cafe allows students like Sudo to find out more about their American friends, at least those that come.
“I think almost all my American friends are interested in Asian culture,” Sudo said. “We exchange culture through conversation. We can understand more.”
ISA uses Chai Cafe to inform participants of upcoming events and encourage them to get involved.
“We just want people to know about these events, try to advertise them,” said Rachel Lau, junior photojournalism major from Penang, Malaysia. Lau is also the ISA public relations officer.
“We just want people to know ISA is not just for international students,” she said.
Though Chai Cafe is a time where students can take a break from studying, students still learn as they interact with each other.
“It’s not just you come to get snacks and hang out, but you actually learn about other cultures,” Lau said.
Chai Cafe meets every other Thursday, and plenty of other opportunities exist for students to get involved with ISA. The group has a food festival coming up in November and is working on this year’s Ethnos show, which showcases culture and talent and will also be in November.