'Global Dialogues' helps international students connect03-21-2013
One of the College of Science’s newest initiatives aims at making international students feel more comfortable and connected during their time in West Lafayette.
“Global Dialogues” is a new program that meets every other Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in MATH 942. The meetings feature dinner and presentations on different cultures represented in the College of Science. The food matches the topic being discussed that evening.
It has been shown that peoples’ differences prevent them from connecting, communicating, and interacting with each other. The Global Dialogues program is designed to promote understanding of the varying life experiences and values of College of Science domestic and international students. It aims to transform communication and relationships leading to collaboration both in and outside of the classroom at Purdue and beyond.
On Feb. 20, students were treated to food from West Lafayette Indian restaurant Khana Khazana and a presentation on the Indian holiday Diwali. Siddhartha Chowdhury, Neeraj Arawal and Kirtana Venkatraman gave a PowerPoint presentation and fielded questions from their audience of about 20 students who represented several different countries and majors within the College of Science. The students range from freshmen to seniors.
Computer Science major Neeraj Arawal talks Diwali to the "Global Dialogues" group on Feb. 20.
Started and led by Terry Ham, College of Science International Student Recruitment and Retention Specialist, and Laura Starr, Associate Director for Experiential Learning and Student Success for the College of Science, Global Dialogues started at the beginning of the spring semester. Past meetings took closer looks at Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year as well as frequent issues in intercultural communication and collaboration.
After only four meetings, Ham said she is already noticing friendships being formed and collaborations occurring smoothly.
Up next is a dinner and movie night and later in the spring, the Global Dialogues group will host a dance event featuring cultural dance groups and DJs across Purdue campus.