Kent State showcases Australia, Saudi Arabia at Cultural Café

Students pose for a photo during the Cultural Café Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Alissa Reyes

Students and staff gathered together for an opportunity to understand and learn more about the Australian and Saudi Arabian cultures Wednesday.

The Office of Global Education gave international students Jessica Hughes and Zainab Alshareef the chance to represent their cultures and share them with others during the Cultural Café event in the Ballroom balcony.

“It’s an opportunity for domestic students to learn more about the culture they are unfamiliar with and an opportunity for our international students to talk about something that they think is really cool, interesting and unique to their culture,”  said Angelia Zielke, a graduate assistant of International Students and Scholars Services at the Office of Global Education.

During the event the students shared a presentation on the stereotypes, history, important people, destinations and animals in their countries.

“My presentation is kind of centered around a lot of common stereotypes that people have of Australia. For example, ‘We live so far away and we are this mysterious island,’ but we are actually the sixth largest country in the world and yet the smallest continent,” said Jessica Hughes, a junior event management major and the presenter for Australia.

“I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about how the animals are going to kill you and we all live in the desert and swim with crocodiles,” Hughes explained during the presentation.

The event had the guests intrigued and active with questions and they were given the chance to talk to the presenters about the dishes they chose to share during a break.

“It’s a great opportunity, especially since there are a lot of people who take the wrong idea about my country. So, it’s a great opportunity that I get to present the real culture and what real people do,” said Alshareef, a junior majoring in teaching English as a second language and a presenter for Saudi Arabia.

The Office of Global Education has plans for two more Cultural Café events to finish off the semester, explained Zielke.

“This semester we are showcasing Finland and India in March and then showcasing Vietnam and Rwanda in April,” Zielke said.

Alissa Reyes is the international students reporter. Contact her at [email protected]