International Students Share Global Story
Changing the world first requires dialogue, so we know what needs to change and why. This is a dialogue that the International Student Association at Chowan University is proud to start.
“Constantly, we are instructed, directed, encouraged, or even challenged to make a difference in the world in which we live. We believe that begins with sharing and listening to the stories all around us,” stated Jill Awuni, Assistant Professor of Religion and Business Administration and the Director of International Students at Chowan. “Each of us has a story to tell, and it is a vital part of how we dialogue with one another.”
Each year Chowan’s international students travel south to the Fort Caswell Coastal Retreat and Conference Center on Oak Island, NC to join similar groups from across the state for the International Student & Scholar Conference. This year’s weekend theme was “Our Global Story.” Stories were shared through word, conversation, craft, activity, play, and fellowship. The large group of collegiate adults from around the globe enjoyed the opportunity to examine differing cultures and develop new relationships.
But it’s not just one weekend out of the year that these students have the opportunity to share their global story. Awuni’s group shines all year round, on campus and off, through awareness and fund raising efforts, such as the annual Relay for Life event, as well as travelling to churches throughout the region. Churches like Roundtree Temple of Praise in Powellsville, NC have even began making their outreach program part of the annual schedule.
“We can reframe the world’s challenges by better assimilation of information so we can transform our world,” Awuni said of tackling the fear of the unknown that can hide outside our own spheres of influence. “We all deal with great ambiguity in our world, but we are not all an army of drones. Let’s open ourselves up to new stories and individuals.”
The Chowan international students are eager to share their global story to churches and other organizations. In April, Awuni took international students to Paul D. Camp Community College for an event hosted by the Lambda Psi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
“We introduced the ASCEND high school students in the area to the international concepts of globalization and the effects of climate change upon the countries of the world,” Awuni explained.
With students hailing from England, France, Spain, Germany and Poland in Europe to Argentina, Columbia, Brazil and Guatemala in South and Central America and to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Ghana in Africa to Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan in Asia, just to name a few, Chowan University’s international student population has an incredibly vast point of view and are excited to share it. See what you can learn when you encounter new people, customs and cultures.
If you would like to make the International Student Association at Chowan University part of your outreach or awareness program, contact Director of International Students Jill Awuni at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 398-6483.