The colorful atmosphere was paralleled by the myriad of cultures and activities as the Office of International Programs held its annual International Student Welcome Picnic this past Saturday.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., The University Camp at riverside was painted with the multiplicities of students from countries like Korea and India. Members of OIP, along with other volunteers, helped to create a jubilant Bearkat experience for Sam Houston’s newest international guests.
Pat Herrington, International Student and Scholar Advisor, has always had a passion for international programs, and was overwhelmed by the event’s success.
“The camaraderie was like one huge world family, and you didn’t realize that you had so many brothers and sister from other countries,” said Herrington. “It had beautiful culturally diverse group of people that all had a great time together.”
There were several entities that combined to make the weekend a success. The event received assistance from other SHSU organizations like The Office of Multicultural and International Student Services and The Department of Recreational Sports.
Donielle Miller, Coordinator for the Office of M.I.S.S., felt positively about the welcoming impact of the event.
“It was exciting to see international students playing the games that recreational sports facilitated,” said Miller. “They really enjoyed themselves, and it made me feel good that I was part of something that made them feel welcomed.”
Everyone who attended had the pleasure of partaking in Texas barbeque from Catered by Brenda of Cut n’ Shoot Texas, while Rec. Sports provided several games and activities for the students to enjoy. The students learned line dances and songs, and everyone was exhausted with joy at the end of the day.
Herrington believes that the fullness of the day’s events were best experienced by attending.
“You had to have been there to see how cute it was to see about 85 international students trying to learn how to do the Cotton Eye Joe,” said Herrington.
There was never an aimless moment, and everyone left thriving on an experience of cultural cohesion. This is an event that takes place every fall, but is just one of many culturally explorative exploits that SHSU has to offer.
Later this fall students will have the opportunity to attend M.I.S.S.’s International Student Festival which in the past has offered the experience from 59 countries without ever having to use a passport. The festival will have native countrymen, clothing and dishes all to make the cultural experience realistic.
For more information about upcoming international programs please visit http://www.shsu.edu/~int_www/ or http://www.shsu.edu/~miss_sa/v2/index.html.