ACADEMICS | For many of Loyola Marymount University’s international students and scholars, last week marked their first Thanksgiving.
More than 100 students, scholars and guests gathered Nov. 20 at The Hill in Malone to be with their community, share a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and learn about some of the traditions that inform a signature American holiday.
At LMU, where an institutional goal is to be a center of global imagination and its impacts, more international students and scholars are getting a taste of American traditions than ever before. Enrollment of international students and scholars has been growing over the past decade, and now stands at more than 900 undergraduate and graduate students. LMU also hosts an increasing number of short-term exchange students, faculty and researchers from overseas.
Leading the way in welcoming students and scholars from all over the world is the Office for International Students and Scholars. “ It is LMU’s great privilege to welcome students and scholars from all over the globe, who enrich our campus in so many ways. It’s important to build community among our international and domestic students and colleagues so that all feel welcome,” said Csilla Samay, assistant dean for international students and initiatives with the Office for International Students and Scholars.
“I was very happy that OISS has this tradition of bringing us together for a meal,” said Joat Farah, a senior entrepreneurship major from Ecuador. “Not only because of the free food, but also because I get to see many of my friends who I have not seen throughout the busy semester..Even though most international students don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this event is about being grateful to be in such a close community of international students.”
The largest contingent of international students and scholars comes from China, followed by Indonesia, Kuwait, India, Saudi Arabia and Canada; overall 90 countries are represented among LMU’s students from overseas.
In addition to welcoming international students and scholars, LMU has been expanding its global reach in other ways. OISS recently concluded their 18th annual WorldFest, a celebration across campus of international education and exchange. This year’s program featured more than 20 programs and events, including a visit from the Irish ambassador, Global Citizen Day, the Study Abroad Fair, Dia de Los Muertos, an art exhibit from CFA faculty, the Human Library, workshops on origami, sushi making and more.
As LMU increases the exchange of students and scholars and expands its global imagination and opportunities, OISS looks forward to continuing collaboration across campus and engaging our global community in celebrating traditions new and old.