International Relations

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For a small Christian university in the heart of the south, Mississippi College has incredibly diverse population. From the United States, 39 states are currently represented on campus, and over twenty international countries have students attending school here. The Office of Global Education strives to connect students from all over the world. A special thanks to them for supplying all the photos for this blog. 

These facts are extremely exciting to me, for I am a firm believer in learning about different cultures. The Office of Global Education, along with other campus organizations, builds bridges between American and International students. Campus ministries, such as RUF and BSU, host special events for International students to attend. Basically, there are several opportunities to make friends from other countries and cultures.

This past semester, I decided to be a part of the Conversation Partner program with the Office of Global Education, and I learned so much about my Conversation Partner's home country of China. Although I experienced what it was like to close the cultural gaps between my conversation partner and myself, I knew this wasn't the extent of "International relations" on campus.

Thus, I turned to my friend Taylor Thompson, who is a world traveler and lover of people. Taylor has this incredible ability to make those around her feel loved and welcomed.

Her passion for befriending International students is evident, so I asked her a few questions about how she bridges the gaps between American and International students. Here are her thoughts.

Meeting International friends on campus has been one of the greatest joys on campus. International students really enjoy seeing and experiencing different parts of our culture—being invited to events, seeing family life, and just getting to know people. It is so much fun hearing them share about their culture. We bridge a lot of cultural gaps that way—talking about each others’ cultures, cooking traditional dishes, and finding things our cultures share. The old phrase is true, laughter is universal.
— Taylor Thompson

In addition to giving me some insight on what she thinks helps build relationships between those of different cultures, she also told me what her favorite events sponsored by the Office of Global Education are, such as Saudi National Day and Chinese New Year. She especially recommends Celebration of Cultures, when all the different cultures bring food and fellowship together.

So now that you know a little bit more about the opportunities to connect with International students, what's stopping you? The world is an incredible place, filled with incredible people. Here at MC, we're lucky to be able to experience a little bit of the world without purchasing a plane ticket. 

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