International Center Joins World Cup Fever

by Katelyn Noll '07

APU's Office of International Student Services (ISS) has been busy lately, working closely with Foreign Language Services, Citrus College international students, and APU's international students to reach out and build deeper relationships among the three communities. Continuing their efforts to make international students feel welcome, they have taken advantage of recent events—particularly the World Cup—to celebrate the students' home countries.

"The world stops for the World Cup, so we are taking advantage of the World Cup fever," said Greg Muger, assistant director of ISS.

Besides playing soccer every Tuesday afternoon, ISS invites students to watch the World Cup soccer games in the International Center office on Fridays at noon. On June 16, about 20 International Center staff as well as students from APU and Citrus gathered to watch the Mexico v. Angola game and eat pizza and snacks. While not everyone understood the game's announcer (who spoke in Spanish), everyone enjoyed the friends and food.

On Saturday, June 17, ISS hosted yet another event. ISS staff barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs and APU and Citrus students came to eat and watch the USA v. Italy game in Trinity Hall Lounge. During halftime, they hosted a contest to see who could juggle a soccer ball on their knees or feet the most times. The male winner was able to bounce it almost 30 times. Both male and female winners received gift cards to Starbucks.

Following the contest, a short, impromptu soccer game began between the ladies, and ended when the World Cup halftime ended.

ISS Intern Stephanie Taylor '07 helps coordinate activities for the International Center. She loves working for ISS. During her freshman and sophomore years, she participated in the American International Mentoring (AIM) Program and has been involved with international students ever since, even becoming one for a while by spending a semester in Oxford in fall 2005. "I wanted to try being an international student myself," said Taylor. She learned valuable lessons being a foreigner — lessons that make her good at her job.

"I have a passion for international students," said Taylor, and she thinks it is sad that many do not build relationships with American students. In an effort to break that trend, she and ISS work hard to find new ways to make international students feel at home at APU, and ways to give nationals at APU the opportunity to get to know them.