It was a very diverse scene on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Blum 222 as Americans met with other students from all over the globe in this semester’s edition of Meet The World.
International students heiled from such countries such as Germany, Venezuela, Ethiopia and South Africa. The event was put together by the Missouri Western International Center. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 22, and then rescheduled for Jan. 30, but was cancelled both times due to harmful, icey weather.
Assistant Director Fumi Matsumoto Cheever believes the event is a quality experience for all students.
“This is a good way to meet new people,” Cheever said. “Some students are new to the campus, and also some American students don’t even know any international students exist on the campus as well. It has been very popular because of people coming back after the last semester because they’ve heard about it. Hopefully those students get to meet each other, and those friendships will take off from here.”
Based on the past cancellations of the event, Cheever was content with the turnout of guests.
“For this, it’s a good opportunity because random people come in because it’s open to the public and is free,” Cheever said. “I wish we had more students, but I’m glad there’s people. Usually, the number of international students and American students are even. I’m happy with that result.”
Program assistant Marcus Triplett sees Meet The World as a good occasion for American students to open up to different ways of life.
“I’m from St. Louis originally, and being black, I’m kind of around different ethnicities very early on because I’m not a part of white America,” Triplett said. “It’s easier for me to mix with other cultures. I’ve noticed especially with St. Joe natives, it’s very helpful for them to come to these events and talk to different people that are from around the world because it gives them a taste of culture outside of what they know.”
Triplett thinks the event can be a real eye-opener for students who tend not to stray far away from home.
“There are quite a few people that I’ve spoken with that have never even gone out of Missouri before, even though Kansas is right across the border,” Triplett said. “It gives them a chance to understand the world in a bigger scope than they know. I think that’s helpful especially with business majors who want to go into international business, so now they have the chance to talk with the business majors from other countries and make those connections.”
Freshman cinema major Jozua attended the event last fall, and while the number of students may have been down this time, he was pleased with the outturn.
“Last semester was definitely bigger due to having more international students,” Jozua said. “I’m also proud of all the international student that showed up to this one as well. It makes them [Americans] more aware of the outside world because there are places everyone knows such a Germany, France and stuff like that. There are also places that more unknown such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or the smaller people such as myself, South Africa. We’re here.”
The event held a speed dating station along with international bingo where participants flocked around the room looking to meet people from the unique countries featured on their card.