The International Student’s Association celebrated more than 30 incoming students with its Welcome Bash Thursday evening.
As part of its mission to make ACU feel more like home to students from outside the U.S., ISA members shared food, ice cream and tips on adjusting to campus life with the students.
Gaby Lane, international student service coordinator at the Center for International Education, said events like the bash are important to familiarize students with one another.
“It’s not only for them to have American exposure, but also for an American to understand the international students,” she said. “For them to be global leaders, they have to understand the cultures.”
Fiama Molina, vice president of ISA and senior finance major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, said the group is attempting to rebrand this year to better reach the entire student body.
“When I was here as a freshman it was for a lot of Asian students, but now you see more Latin Americans,” she said. “It’s more expanded in that sense, with more people from different countries.”
To boost involvement from students across campus, ISA brought Christi Lim on to manage the social media sites.
Lim, sophomore graphic design and advertising major from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said the group is planning themed parties and more service opportunities.
“ISA has had previous events, but the people that always come are international students, and we kind of want to reach out this year and get more people involved so we can actually give people more awareness about international students and cultures,” she said
To be counted as one of more than 150 international recruits on campus, students must have a student visa. However, Lane said there are a lot of students outside of that number that qualify as international students without that visa, such as citizens living abroad that come back for a higher education. These students, she said, need just as much help warming up to the United States’ culture.
“My goal is to make sure they’re happy while they’re here and have access to all the resources that ACU and the community offers,” Lane said.
Molina and Lim said their ultimate goal is to make sure ISA is a good resource for the incoming and current students.
“The people in ISA that I met really adopted me and showed me around; they showed me the ropes and everything,” Lim said. “I want ISA to be like that for other people, too.”