Students joined together to celebrate a night of culture and friendship at International Friendship Night. American and International Post students danced the night away in the Long Island Room of Winnick on Wednesday night. It was a party that welcomed new, international students and helped them to learn about Americans while simultaneously establishing friendships.
Wednesday night began with students welcoming each other. Everyone took their seats at round tables to prompt conversation; each table was as diverse as the next. The students played a type of get-to-know-you game, where each student was given a sheet of paper with questions to ask about the other students’ cultures. The room quickly became filled with questions like: “How do you say…?” “What type of things do you do for fun?” And, “Tell me about your hometown.” The conversations picked up with momentum, causing it to be challenging to transition the group onto the next activity.
Students were encouraged to walk around and mingle with one another. They were also urged to talk with someone whom they had never met before. The rest of the night was spent playing games and dancing to a live DJ. Many students took the floor, teaching each other dances like the Cotton-Eyed Joe. The dancing continued the whole night, and it appeared as though everyone was having a great time, as many students were wearing big smiles on their faces.
Daphne Hsu, a first-year graduate Interactive Multimedia Art student from Taiwan, attended international friendship night and talked about how great the event made her feel. She used the words “funny” and “kind” to describe her emotions about the evening. She also mentioned how she loved all of the dancing that had consumed the night. Hsu said, “I had a lot of fun last night. I met a lot of people from different countries, and the activity made me feel like I can join American life.”
The night was spent as a great learning experience for both international and American Post students. Susan Shang, a first-year graduate student from China, majoring in Public Administration, explained how she loved the event, and if she could go again, she would. “I loved last night’s event because dancing can reduce pressure,” Shang said. “It is a good way for meeting new friends and practicing English. Last night, I felt so good; dancing was my favorite part, and it just let me forget many things and relax,” she continued.
The night came to an end around 10:00, and many students left with new friends and gained knowledge of other cultures around the world. Michelin Janvier, a Junior Speech-Language Pathology major, spoke about how much fun the night was and how it made her feel joyful. “It was nice to see the American and international students having a good time,” she said. “I think it is important to make friends with international students and to learn about their cultures and origins, as they bravely do so by being in this country.”