By Davis Hill
Eastern’s International Student Association (ISA) serves as a place where students of all nationalities can meet, make friends and learn about other cultures.
According to Anh Le, president, the goal of the ISA is to promote understanding between countries and cultures. “The people that we interact with from other countries are all very ignorant about each other,” she said.
Le said that a large part of ISA’s agenda aims to help international students understand the culture at Eastern and in the U.S. “[We] try to get international students to feel comfortable – a mentor thing,” said Le. “Tell them how American life is.”
Club meetings include social events like movie and board game nights, potlucks, discussions about American culture, intercultural communication, and the international student experience.
“[The goal] is to promote internationalization,” said Tram Le, vice president and social activities coordinator. “To bring friends from all over the world together.”
Tram explained that in addition to helping students understand one another, the ISA seeks to compile a database about the American lifestyle for future international students.
“On a small scale, … we want to have fun. … On a bigger scale, [we want] to help other students in the future as well,” she said.
The ISA is active in EWU events and welcomes anyone wishing to participate, according to Anh. The club maintains a public profile by participating in new student orientations and by partnering with events such as EWU’s International Week. “[We’re getting] Eastern communities to be aware of the diversity we have,” she said.
Meetings usually happen on Fridays, but the club is still scheduling meeting dates for the 2011-2012 year, according to Tram. “All you have to do is show up,” she said.
Caden Mayfield, a recent member of the club, enjoys being around students of different nationalities.
“Being an American, I was definitely on the minority side,” he said. “You learn a lot about these different countries in the news, but it’s cool to get to talk to different people and get a feel for what they’re like.”
Anh agrees. “You don’t have to travel far to see the world. Just come to ISA.”
For more about the ISA, visit their Facebook page, check the Focus for events, or email ISA@eagles.ewu.edu.