The International Student Association (ISA) club is preparing for the 2023-2024 school year. The club’s president, Miriam Campbell, is looking forward to a great fall semester full of reaching out to others across campus.
A native of Germany, Campbell came up with the idea for ISA last year when discussing the need for a safe place on campus for international students with some friends. She recalls Dr. Elad being one of the first people on campus to assist her when she first arrived at ABAC. Together, they came up with the idea of the club with the ideal advisors in mind to help get it established: Dr. Chatterjee, Dr. Njoroge, and Dr. You.
Campbell hopes that the club be an educational experience for those who attend ABAC, helping to expose everyone to different cultures and perspectives. When recalling adjusting to attending college in South Georgia, she said, “One of the hardest things for me was getting used to the language. Back in Germany, the English we learn is up to the British standard. Here, the dialect is more relaxed compared to it, so it was a little hard understanding others at first.” Having to break out of her shell as a new student, Campbell notes that many international students have had similar difficulties. From language and cultural barriers to the intimidating nature of a fresh start, Campbell is optimistic that the club will help bridge many of the gaps.
Anika Rehberg, the club’s event planner, is excited for the opportunities ISA has to reach people across ABAC. Though not an international student herself, Rehberg believes in the importance of being educated and willing to learn about the experience of those who come from different backgrounds. Through some of the planned events, international students have the chance to showcase their unique cultures and engage with American students on social levels.
Some of the club’s upcoming events include attending Fiesta Del Pueblo, a cultural festival held every year at Fulwood Park. There, they will be partnering up with the Cultura Latinx Club (CLC). CLC will be selling food, while ISA will be selling henna tattoos. Other activities include a bake sale, as well as a potluck for all the international professors on campus. Next semester, those at ABAC can look forward to an International Day, a day in the Dining Hall where everyone is welcome to eat food from different countries.
International and American students and staff are invited to participate in ISA activities. “Don’t be afraid, just come,” says their club president.
The club meets once a month on Thursdays in Lewis Hall.