For some, going out to dinner results in the difficult decision of what to eat. The International Student Association at Anderson University offers a solution to this problem by hosting an annual dinner open to the public where one can feast on traditional cultural favorites from all over the world and experience one-of-a-kind performances. This year’s theme was “Unity in Diversity.”
Cindy Sprunger, director of international student services, cherishes the opportunity for the university to become familiar with international students. “So many times people say they wish they could connect with international students. This dinner is the perfect opportunity,” Sprunger said. “It gets better each year. I keep saying it can’t, but it always does.”
[Photo: AU students Faith Gretzinger and Lainey Priddy discuss merchandise on sale to support Boundaries Unlimited Brazil during the International Dinner at Anderson University.]
Oscar Ndao, ISA president, looks forward to the event every year. Ndao is in charge of a council of 10 students, coordinates meetings, and manages group details. “Most people don’t know all of the work that is put in behind the scenes,” Ndao said. Following the start of the semester, committees are formed that are in charge of various aspects in the dinner, such as food and drinks, entertainment, and more.
“A common misconception is you have to be an international student to take part in events and we are trying to change that,” Ndao said. “The dinner is a fun event that people from all walks of life attend.”
This year's dinner was held Saturday, Nov. 6.
"I really enjoyed the variety of food they offered," said Junior Kierstin Schalliol. "I was expecting food from China and Mexico, so I was pleasantly surprised to see South African food and Korean dishes offered as well.”
[Photo: AU students Sin Hea Yeom (left) and Chan Mi Park pose for a picture during the International Dinner at Anderson University.]
Dinner is just a small aspect of the night. The night also includes a variety of entertainment, packed with skits, dances, and songs, all performed by students native to the cultures each piece originates from.
Schalliol said she loved the various performances throughout the night, and one song in particular. “I was glad they explained the meaning of the song because it helped me invest more energy into listening to it instead of writing it off as background noise,” Schalliol said. “They taught us some of the lyrics, even though we couldn't say them correctly. They even got the audience involved in the chorus.”
— Joseph Matas is a senior from Anderson, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Matas is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.