International Coffee Hour offers immersion in various cultures

by Spencer White, Staff Writer

Every Friday at noon, students of various backgrounds gather in San Diego State’s International Student Center for an International Coffee Hour, during which students present on their country and share some of the foods representing their culture.

To kick off this year’s weekly coffee hour, a group of exchange students from Mexico brought traditional dishes as well as a slideshow on everything there is to know about their home country. The room was completely packed as students soaked up the information and chowed down on the food.

Design major Andrea Lopez and linguistics major Sofia Montes are from Vera Cruz and Jalisco, Mexico respectively, and they led the presentation about their home country at this school year’s first International Coffee Hour. 

“Giving the presentation made me very proud to be Mexican,” Montes said.

Lopez echoed the sentiment.

“It feels nice that people are interested in my country and my culture,” Lopez said. “These coffee hours have a lot to offer to students and can help them learn something totally new that they would not have known before.”

Montes especially appreciated that it gave her an opportunity to show people what Mexico really is.

“I liked showing people that Mexico is not that awful violent place that people always hear about and the stereotype that gets thrown around is false. There are a lot of beautiful parts about it and people should know about those parts,” Montes said.  

Hajo Vis, an English and Japanese major from the Netherlands, found the coffee hour to be a valuable social event.

“I missed the coffee, but I learned so much about the food and the culture,” Vis said. “It’s really cool to meet so many people in my first week here at SDSU and it makes it so easy to get in touch with people.”

Vis is looking forward to the coffee hour covering the country that he studies, Japan. “I will definitely be coming to more events and becoming a member of the ISC.”

Lisa Lyons, an international student advisor at the center, loves learning about other countries and seeing students get exposed to new cultures.

“The opportunity it gives SDSU to get all these different kinds of people together is really special,” Lyons said. “I have really enjoyed learning about countries I never thought I would.”