North Texas Daily

International Welcome Center hosts cultural and educational program

International Welcome Center hosts cultural and educational program

International Welcome Center hosts cultural and educational program
November 08
08:36 2013

Steven James / Intern Writer

UNT’s International Welcome Center is hosting Global Grounds Café –  a program that allows international students to talk about the countries they come from to large audiences.

Global Grounds Café is held every two weeks in Sycamore Hall room 203. All students and faculty are welcome to attend free of charge.

“Global Grounds Café is an event that celebrates cultural awareness,” International Welcome Center adviser Yunju Langran said. “The students give presentations on either PowerPoint or Prezi and talk about anything from the history to the culture to the language.”

The next and last Global Grounds Café of the semester will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 15 and will feature a presentation on Pakistan.

Langran said in order for students to present, they must go to the welcome center and register for the date they wish.

“It’s kind of a friendly competition,” Langran said. “When the students from Chile come in and want to present, that makes the students from Pakistan come in and want to show off how awesome their culture is.”

Undeclared graduate student Nancy Sinte and her fellow international students from the Ivory coast made a presentation about their country this semester. She said they also talked about how their country compared to some other countries, including the United States.

“Over there, we do wear jeans and t-shirts just like Americans, but we mix it with the traditional attire,” Sinte said. “Women still wear traditional dresses and scarfs and men will still sometimes wear robes. Also, the beaches at the Ivory Coast have very blue waters and skies, kind of like what people see when they go to the beach in Miami.”

Olga Grieco, director of the welcome center, was surprised by some of the facts about students’ home countries.

“I could not believe that every city in Brazil has a giant soccer stadium,” Grieco said. “In Rio de Janeiro, they even have a special giant stadium for parades. Also, in Azerbaijan, they have all of these weirdly-shaped buildings that were just awe-inspiring.”

Grieco said one of her favorite parts of Global Grounds Café is that the international students have an opportunity to interact with American students.

“Students come to a strange new world, probably not knowing a lot of English, and are hesitant to mingle with people who are different than they are,” Grieco said. “This program helps the two worlds to come together and possibly create friendships.”

Grieco said she hopes many people will not only come see the Pakistan presentation, but the Global Grounds Café presentations that will be shown next semester.

Feature photo: Journalism senior Mariana Viana and fashion merchandising junior Jade Cardos native Brazilians, came to serve as this week’s guest presenters at UNT’s Global Grounds Cafe. Photo by Kristen Watson / Intern Photographer 

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