The International Students Association has revampedÂ its promotional plans this year in order to reach out to a new target audience: Americans.
Adopting the slogan, “Experiencing Culture Without the Cost,” ISA hopes to encourage students to take advantage of the ability to develop relationships with other students on campus and experience a variety of cultures without having to travel overseas.
“You can’t say you’re interested in culture and then completely ignore the fact that we have 250 international students here, many of whom are willing to experience American culture,” said Jeremy Foo, senior advertising and public relations major from Malaysia and president of ISA.
Foo said the heart of ISA culture is to create a place where different cultures can come together and learn from each other. It’s a place where an individual’s culture doesn’t come first; instead, students learn what it means to be an international ACU student.
“I think American students can show them the best or worst of the American culture,” Foo said. “And we want them to be able to meet people who care, who love the Lord, and who are willing to engage them. In showing Jesus to them, it shows them the greater part of American culture.”
Foo said students tend to associate ISA primarily with its weekly small group Chapels. ISA officers hope to help students get a better idea of the other activities and opportunities that ISA offers through a new social media initiative that will be rolling out this semester.
Clement Ho, senior computer science major from Beijing, handles public relations for ISA and said the group would be utilizing Facebook and Twitter to better communicate with students.
“With the Facebook page, we’re able to publicize unofficial events,” Ho said. “There are ISA events sanctioned by ACU and then there are international students who just want to hang out, so we can post those events and everyone can be invited instead of only inviting people who know each other.”
Ho said this year ISA is focusing on building a new foundation for future officers to build upon so they can better engage international students and prevent them from feeling left out of the group while also reaching out to non-international students.
“Most Americans use Twitter and Facebook, so we’re using Facebook to communicate better with our target audience of college students because most people don’t use their emails,” Ho said.
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