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Global Engagement Program begins fall 2013

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 18:02

global engagement program

Paige Walker, Staff Photographer

Cortney Wolf, a sophomore early childhood education major of Weiner, and Ya Su, a senior sociology major of Beijing, China, share a mirror as they get ready in their dorm on Thursday.

Building two of the Northpark Quads will be solely used as the Global engagement building next fall. As the newest special interest housing option, it will allow international and domestic students to live together in an effort to mingle cultures and traditions.

“What we’re trying to do is bring together our international students and our domestic students, so that they can interact and ASU can become a better community for them,” said Melissa Turner, international liaison in the Department of Residence Life.  “We like to bring them together so that they can share in cultures, traditions and values and hopefully those intercultural friendships can form.”

There have been many organizations and departments working together to make Global Engagement a reality.

“We are working with the Office of International Programs, Multicultural Center, Department of World Languages and Cultures and some of the individual groups,” Turner said. “We’re coming in to tie it all together to export that out to our American students.”

Before the Global Engagement program, students applied for residence on campus through the housing application online. In the application, the students would select their likes and dislikes and be paired with a roommate they would hopefully get along with. While students will still go through this process if they choose to live in the second building the four roommates will be two international and two domestic students.

Students currently residing in Building two who wish to reclaim their room for next fall will be involved in the Global Engagement program.

“I want to be able to see, when I look across campus, domestic and international students walking down the hall together, laughing together and sharing stories,” Turner said. “Here at ASU, we obviously want everyone to get along and we want everybody to feel comfortable. So I feel like if we can break that barrier, then we would see that.”

Andrew Nichols, a sophomore chemistry major of West Memphis, is currently employed as a resident assistant in the NorthPark Quads and has roomed with an international student.

“Everyone sort of has a stereotype about a specific culture or ethnicity that isn’t always necessarily the case. Having a South Korean roommate has helped me to see further into the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ Nichols said.

Nichols said his advice for the American students who will partake in Global Engagement next fall:
“A lot of the international students are shy and are afraid of ‘messing up’ in some way because of the different culture. Being able to explain things in the most basic manner helps,” Nichols said. “There’s sometimes a language barrier that often makes it hard to cope with. There will probably be different smells, foods and other things that you’re just not used to. Patience is the key with everything.”

Global Engagement will be a way for an international student to become better accustomed to the way of life in the U.S. by learning from their American roommates. It will also assist them in learning how things operate here at ASU.

“They establish a solid relationship with someone that they can go to for questions as well as anything else,” Nichols said. “Worldwide friendships can be made and change both students’ lives forever.”


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