International Student Center hosts lunch and learn about Ethiopia
Liberty University and the International Student Center (ISC) encourages students to learn about the countries represented on campus through Global Connect events.
The ISC is the primary avenue for international students to get connected and allows American students to learn more about the cultural representation on campus. The student body at Liberty is incredibly diverse, and according to Liberty University’s website, there are “700 international students from over 70 countries” attending the university residentially.
According to the ISC’s website, its role is to “support our international students and promote international culture through on-campus workshops and cultural events.” It provides events for students to connect in a cross-cultural setting. These events include unique workshops and open houses, designed to provide community and education for all students at Liberty.
Ethiopia is one of the 70 countries represented at Liberty University. On Oct. 14, students gathered above the Starbucks lobby in Montview to attend a Global Connect event for Ethiopia.
The salty smell of popcorn filled the room at the event. Two Ethiopian students, Amanuel Egata and Emeden Ermias, talked all about their culture, food and history. They served popcorn, along with a steaming cup of coffee. The students explained that coffee is a huge export of Ethiopia and that it was traditional to serve popcorn alongside it.
“The sense of community and collectiveness,” Egata named when asked about his favorite thing about Ethiopia.“For example, they don’t do individual agriculture. They all come together to work on someone’s land.”
Egata and Ermias also discussed the history of Ethiopia, including the landmarks the country is famous for and the education systems they grew up in. Both students explained that there are some difficulties adjusting to life in America when your family is overseas.
“When you’re in America, you’re all alone. Independence is thrown at you,” Ermias said. “You have to think about doing everything on your own.”
Egata and Ermias mentioned that there are also many clubs for international students to be a part of. They are members of the African Connect Association and are currently working towards the creation of an Ethiopian club on campus.
During the Global Focus event, both speakers said they enjoyed discussing their culture and values with interested students. They encouraged students to visit Ethiopia by telling stories about experiences they have had.
“We have a bright hope and future for Ethiopia,” Ermias said.
Many of the countries represented in Global Connect events are also involved in International Education Week. This week is filled with worship, food and, for sports fans, FIFA. This year, International Education Week will be from Nov. 13-18. More information about similar events can be found at www.liberty.edu/casas/international-student-center/event-calendar/.
Falls is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion