Last Friday the International Student Association put on the International Dinner in the Rogue River Room in Stevenson Union. The night started off with live piano music and was filled with good food and company. The menu was full of international foods all cooked by the students in the club. There were things like tiramisu from Italy, Swedish meatballs and gravy, sopes from Mexico, spring pond salad from China, etc. The event had a huge turn out between members of the Ashland community, their families, and SOU students. There were easily over a hundred people at the event. The event was themed “Dinner Above the Sky” with all kinds of travel memorabilia with airplane themed trivia questions, travel-themed centerpieces and a greeter at the door in a pilot cap.
Sarah Bly, a member of the Ashland community, thought the celebration was a great way for a member of the community to connect with the university and shared, “If it’s a benefit to SOU, then I know it’s to benefit to us as a community. For myself and my family, I like exposure to people I wouldn’t normally be connecting with.” She would love to be more involved with the programs here at SOU stating, “I love the intellectual academic atmosphere of a college because that’s not my reality. I love the idea of hearing about more events like this.” Bly wishes there was a newsletter for the broader community to be involved in events like this.
Kotobuki Oda, an international Japanese student here at the university thought the event presented a great opportunity for foreign students to really get a taste of different foods from all over the world. “[The dinner] was so nice because I could enjoy many countries’ meals. The fried shrimp was the best! Not only did I enjoy the food, I enjoyed talking with other people and I could meet new people,” Koto states.
Iris Weber, the current ISA president, talked a little about what it took to bring this whole event together and the point of the dinner. All of the club members bought their own groceries and prepared their own dishes.
“I think everyone was satisfied and everyone seemed to enjoy it overall. We asked our members if there were any recipes they would like to submit and the day before we did some prep work. We went shopping for our groceries and then the day of we decorated the room. Once we bought everything that we needed and looked at our list that compiled how many servings it would take to feed a lot of people and so we just did that prep work beforehand and then it was easier for us to cook it on the day. We always like the community to come and eat food they may have never tried before.”
Tracey Culbertson, Assistant Director in the Office of International Student Affairs states that this is a good way to end the international education week here at SOU.
“This is the big event that comes at the end of the International Education week, but it’s the one big event where it’s not just celebrating international students on campus. It’s really their way of providing an opportunity for the community to come and be a part of the club and really interact with the students and share that cultural exchange. This is something we really do to benefit the campus community and the local Ashland community.”