International club welcomes everyone

September 27, 2013 Community Print Print
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Creating cultural awareness among students is one of the main goals of the International Student Association. Ginnett Rollins, co-sponsor of ISA for about five years, said the club serves as a support group for international students. “I’ve been a study abroad student so I know what it’s like to be an international student and not to have the support system you have when you live in your hometown,” Rollins said. Rollins said the club is not just for international students, however. Students from any and all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to join. “We try to create interaction between not just the international students but the students from the U.S. as well,” she said. ISA president Freshta Nematzadhe said the club offers something for all backgrounds. “Don’t be hesitant and think that you cannot bring something to the club because I think everyone can bring their own diversity, whether it’s being an officer or just being an active member.” Nematzadhe said the club does not charge any dues but holds various fundraisers throughout the year. “As far as the funds we raise, we can either put them in our account for a trip or we can put them toward a scholarship,” she said. Rollins said some of the money goes toward scholarships. “We’ve been able to give a few small scholarships to international students over the last few years.” Besides fundraisers, Rollins said, the group also participates in various activities around the state. “We have done some community service activities such as the Regional Food Bank but we’ve also gone to the Halloween parade downtown, Chickasha Festival of Light, and the state fair.” Nematzadhe said these activities are a great opportunity for international students. “The [students] who come abroad to study don’t really get a chance to explore and see what America has, what the state has, and what the city has. That’s why we like to plan trips and events,” she said. Rollins said the club includes a variety of cultures. “When you’re in an [ISA] meeting, sometimes there’s no one from the same country and everyone speaks a different language,” she said. “I think [the club] is an enriching experience for anyone who wants to be around and get to know international students.” Students can join ISA by visiting Student Life’s website and clicking “join a club.” ISA meets bi-weekly, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays in VPAC 122. For more information on ISA, contact Rollins at grollins@occc.edu or 682-1611, ext. 7704.

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