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Theme Corner- International House

Photo Courtesy of St Lawrence University
Written by Bieke Bekker

Greetings! Hujambo! Marhaban! Bonjour! No matter what language you speak, you are welcome in our house, the International/Intercultural House or I-House. Hidden away in the maze of Sykes, we are an oasis of rest and quiet, committed to intercultural exchanges. Your assorted range of potential neighbors here includes those that may have just returned from studying abroad, don’t speak English as their first language, or are just really interested in learning more from people different from them. There is a place here for anyone that wants to break out of their comfort zone.

Despite all these differences in our community, we have this in common: we like to drink tea. Every Wednesday at 9p.m., we host Tea Time in the I-House lounge. It’s a time where anyone can drop in just to have a cup of tea and hang out. Whether you are looking to learn a new language, want to make some new friends, or just feel like having a nice “cuppa”, Tea Time is the place to be. Tea Time is often hosted by a cultural club or is centered around a certain theme, meaning even more good food and interesting conversations.

Together with CIIS or the international student coordinators, our I-House coordinators set up many other events as well. Our Super Bowl party was a success (go Eagles!) and certainly a cultural experience for many novice sports fans. We celebrate a variety of holidays, from the Lunar New Year to Halloween.

I-House is a home to many international students. This is where we catch up with the other internationals, and where we live when we stay over summer or winter break. As anyone who has studied abroad knows, it can be pretty tough being all alone in a different country; having the I-House means that international students have a community to fall back on. Many American students who live here help the international students learn about the United States, and many students that return from a semester off-campus share their experiences as well.

Our lounge is where all this really happens. Because we are a very large theme-house in a regular dorm, it takes a bit more effort to get involved. Hanging out in the lounge to watch a Bollywood movie or cook some nice empanadas is the way to be a part of this community.

If you are ready to meet a bunch of people you probably would not otherwise, get involved! Come to Tea Time and like our Facebook page (“Intercultural House at St. Lawrence”) for the latest updates on events and activities.

About the author

Bieke Bekker