The Sam Houston State University Office of International Programs is hosting an International Coffee Hour today from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Kat Klub of the Lowman Student Center.
International Coffee Hour is a social gathering that was started as a way to strengthen the bond of fellowship among international students, and offer support to those students and faculty who are interested in the programs.
Brenda Boeske, an administrative assistant at the International Programs office, said the event offers a lot more than just coffee.
“We want to encourage any international student or any other student who wants to study abroad to come together and socialize,” Boeske said.
Boeske added that you do not have to be a student to join in on the fun.
“It is open to everyone: faculty, staff, students, exchange scholars and international interns,” she said. “It encourages faculty members who want to study abroad. It is a way for people of different cultures to get together.”
Boeske said the crowd usually consists of a wide variety of people from all over the world.
“Most are international students,” she said. “It’s a mix, some are family members of graduate students, I think it encourages relationships, regardless if you speak English of not.”
International business student Leenette Wilke started the coffee hour event last year. Last year, International Programs and Student Activities sponsored the event every week.
Boeske said that since last year, the size of the get-together has snowballed into a full-blown bash.
“We do this each month now. Every month there is a different theme. We had one for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and this month is Easter. We even had Mayor Green in a Mardi Gras hat,” she said.
Boeske said she attributes the increase in numbers to the implementation of a theme-based party instead of a generic one.
“We started out with about 15 people, now it is more like 40,” she said.
International Programs is designed to help students who have a desire to expand their scope and discover new places.
“It encourages international students to study at SHSU. It also encourages SHSU students to study abroad,” she said.
Boeske said she is optimistic about the future of the program and that it is growing rapidly.
“The program is brand new,” she said. “Prior to last year, the office just had one half-time director. Now, we have two full-time staff and three or four volunteers.”
Boeske said students interested in programs offered through International Programs should not worry about being proficient in a foreign language.
“Most of our programs are taught in English,” she said.
Some courses offered through International Programs at SHSU include: agriculture, art, business, chemistry, criminal justice, English and foreign languages, literature, history, library science, political science, sociology and speech communications. Boeske said one of the office’s biggest programs is held in Pueblo, Mexico.
Boeske said the Office of International Programs is looking forward to the future with hopeful views.
“We hope to have a first international study abroad fair,” she said.
Those interested in any of the programs or courses offered by the Office of International Programs may call 294-3892.
For more information visit the International Programs Web site at http://firstname.lastname@example.org.