Students Experience South Korea and Tajikistan at Monthly Cultural Café

Sierra Allen

The Office of Global Education hosts monthly Cultural Café events to highlight the cuisine and culture of other countries. February’s Cultural Café featured South Korea and Tajikistan in the Student Center on February 24.

Cultural Café focuses on selected countries to share their culture with domestic students so they receive worldly experiences on campus. It is designed to expose the Kent community to the tastes, sights and sounds of cultures around the world.

“Students are able to learn different cultural aspects and traditions from all over the world right at the Student Center,” says Angela Schwarzer, an International Student Advisor at the Office of Global Communications. “They are able to taste some traditional cuisines from the presenting countries.”

During the event, two students shared a presentation of interesting facts about their country and what makes it unique, while the floor was left open for any questions and comments from the audience. Personal mini flags were given to each guest as a souvenir and delicious food from each country was available to try.

SooRim Han, a junior business management major presented her slideshow on Korea. “I really enjoy sharing my experiences and explaining how we grow up and how we hang out in Korea,” said Han. “I was nervous because English isn’t my mother language, but I was really excited.”

John Jones, a junior entrepreneurship major is a domestic student who likes that the Culture Café event is a monthly idea.

“I think that the Cultural Café is a brilliant idea to try to bring cultures together and learn and understand what makes us all unique and beautiful. In regards of one of this month’s countries, it must be hard to be from Korea and live here, so I feel like it’s a great idea for Korean students to have an opportunity to be here and practice their culture.”

These events also help international students feel more comfortable on campus. Over 3,000 students from 100 countries attend Kent State University, and The Global Office of Communication’s main goal is to make international students have a sense of home.

“While being far away from home in a completely different environment, it is very important for international students to feel welcomed and part of the Kent State Community,” said Schwarzer.

Cultural Café isn’t only directed towards international students however; it is also a way to give students who are from those countries the opportunity to share their world with the friends they’ve made during college. “International students learn so much about their cultures and countries while they’re here, and this also gives them an opportunity to share their culture and country with others as well,” Schwarzer said. “For many students, this also leads to their interest in studying abroad, which all students should do!”

Sierra Allen is a student life reporter. Contact her at [email protected]