08:31 AM

UST Celebrates International Education Week with Global Celts

UST's "Taste of the World"The Office of International Services and Study Abroad (OISSA) at the University of St. Thomas-Houston observed International Education Week with events celebrating the University’s diverse international student body through food, community and cultural exchange.  The week of celebration was first launched in 2001 in a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education. 

Dora Zhang, UST’s Director of International Services and Study Abroad, has spearheaded the University’s participation in International Week for five years.  She said, “We take this annual opportunity to celebrate our international student community and acknowledge their contributions to enriching our campus. This is also another chance to raise awareness of the great study abroad opportunity that UST has to offer.”

Celebrating Was Delicious

On Tuesday, the fourth annual “Taste of the World” lunch provided Celts with Mexican lentil soup, chicken adobo, bolani and lamington cakes. These foods were prepared by UST’s chefs from recipes provided by international students. The event organizer, International Student Advisor Geetika Moore, was happy with the great turnout. According to Moore, “Taste of the World offers our international students the opportunity of sharing a little piece of their cultures with fellow Celts.”

On Wednesday, the OISSA produced its annual Café International with a meet-and-greet and “boba bar” (bubble tea) and boba-inspired pairings. Although the menu changes each year, the event provides students a mid-afternoon pick-me-up and an opportunity for a relaxed environment to chat with other UST students. 

UST celebrations wrapped up on Thursday with the biggest event, the International Exchange Snack Fest. This gathering brought together visiting exchange students and faculty from Argentina, France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Taiwan to share snacks from their home countries. Also joining the gatherings were interested students as well as faculty that had or will lead Celts abroad this year in various programs throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Regine Gonzales, the event coordinator and Assistant Director of International Services and Study Abroad, was delighted to see so many students exchanging ideas and friendship. “We were excited to host so many students sharing their cultures and international experiences while tasting delicious snacks from all over the world,” she said.

Student travel and exchanges are returning to pre-COVID levels, and UST anticipates a great year for incoming international students and outgoing Celts. Group studies abroad are planned for winter, spring break, and summer in Argentina, Costa Rica, France and Germany, Honduras, Italy, Kenya, Romania, and Taiwan. The 2022-2023 academic year programs will conclude with a Celt pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Portugal. For more information about semester exchanges and group programs, please visit the Study Abroad website, email our Study Abroad Advisor Andrea Pineda at  studyabroad@stthom.edu, or stop by the OISSA in Crooker Center, room 214.