Editor’s note: Collegian staff participated in this event.
On March 24th, the International Club at the University of Richmond hosted an informal hangout with international professors at the International Education Lobby. The main goal of the event was for international students to get to know international professors better.
Sophomore Anush Margaryan, president of the International Club, talked about the organization’s goal behind bringing international students and professors together.
“The event is meant for faculty to share their experiences and tell international students how they came to the place they are right now. It is also the perfect opportunity for students to ask them any questions they are curious about,” Margaryan said.
Margaryan reached out to international professors across all departments. Most professors were enthusiastic when they heard of the event, she said.
“[Reaching out] was actually nice and everyone was so sweet. I do not get to interact with professors from other departments as much so it was nice connecting with them through this event,” Margaryan said.
The event lasted for about an hour and consisted of professors across departments of history, computer science, biology and more.
Shweta Ware, assistant professor of computer science, was at the event.
“I think the event is a great platform for students to get together and meet each other,” Ware said. “Being a person of international background, it’s a great feeling to come here as a faculty member and join the students because I was once an international student too.”
Sophomore Pinar Yalcin was one of the many international students who attended the event. The event was helpful for her, since she was able to connect with professors outside of her discipline, she said.
“As a community, we [international students] feel much more tight-knit and we feel represented,” Yalcin said.
The event made Yalcin think of her home and the culture there, she said.
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“Back in high school, we were very friendly with our teachers, sometimes even calling them by their first name,” Yalcin said. “Here, the students and the professors are hanging out as friends and it’s really nice to see that there are no barriers between them.”
The event had food and drinks from around the globe and it was nice seeing snacks like Baklava from her country, Turkey, Yalcin said.
“We see the snacks on the table from back home and it really reminds us of home and the amazing food we have there,” she said.
The International Education Lobby was bustling with talks and laughter and it was clear that students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hangout with professors with similar backgrounds as them.
Margaryan shared the goals of the organization to make this event more frequent and to give international students and professors a platform to come together.
“For the next semester, we are planning to make this event a dinner, rather than a hangout,” Margaryan said. “We hope to make it a monthly thing where international students and faculty can meet and bond over cultural food and shared experiences.”
Contact international editor Ahona Anjum at email@example.com.
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