International students add to HSU culture

By Ashley Villavicencio
Flapjack Chronicle

Like most college students in the United States and around the world, Humboldt State University students and staff are exposed to different cultures, ethnicities, practices and societal changes because of interaction among international and domestic students.

Domestic student, Zach Lathouris, a 22-year-old journalism major at HSU feels that he is always exposed to international students. He lives on campus in Creekview where many international students live.

“In my classes there are many students from different countries,” Lathouris said. “Journalism is an important field that is growing across the globe and fast, which is why I feel I have been exposed to many internationals.

During 2011’s fall semester at HSU, about 1.6 percent of students came from a foreign or unknown location, according to HSU Quick Facts. 

Mariela Espinosa, a Living Learning Community Adviser at HSU, is a key resource for creating a comfortable community between international and domestic students.

“I promote community,” Espinosa said. “I try to have [international students] participate in events if they are able and willing… but for the most part, I try to connect us all to this community we have here, on campus and off campus, help promote healthy and holistic growth, and help them be better individuals and students.”

Living with and being exposed to a lot of international students brings awareness to differences and similarities.

“We come from different families and different environments,” Espinosa said. “So even when it comes to food and dinner, maybe we eat different things. And I think it’s pretty powerful when students are open-minded to trying new things, and instead of saying, ‘Hmm, I don’t like that,’ they say, “Are you sure you don’t like it? Have you tried it before?’ and they are just open about it and sometimes try it and that’s kind of cool.”

Lathouris said he’s enjoyed his interactions with students from other countries.

“We basically live together so we are always interacting with one another,” Lathouris said. “I have a friend from Finland, a few from Brazil, and a ton from Australia. It is pretty awesome and a ton of fun to be exposed to different people from around the world.”

Twenty-one-year-old international business and management major Adam Barnes, originally from England, decided to study in the United States and chose HSU. In his academic career, Barnes will be traveling to other countries as well.

“After this semester, I will be going to Vancouver, Canada, England again, then Ningbo, China where I will be getting my masters,” he added.

Barnes said he chose HSU because of an exchange program provided through his school, UCLAN, University of Central Lancashire, in the UK.

Both Barnes and Lathouris mentioned that coming to HSU has broadened their experiences because of domestic and international relationships.

“I’ve been catching on to a lot of the dialect these international students use,” Lathouris said, “and they seem to be catching on to ours as well. It is interesting to learn how they interact, speak, think, cook, all of that. I’ve been learning a lot from international students and the semester just started.”

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