International Week at GSU - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/16/04

International Week at GSU

As Americans, we watch world events and think of them in a similar light. But what does the rest of the world think? One group is bringing that perspective to the Coastal Empire. This week, Georgia Southern University in Statesboro celebrates International Week. WTOC talked with students who bring the viewpoint of the world to the 'Boro.

In the line of classmates, Yassane Meddib sampled international cuisine. As a student from Tunisia, he says he and other international students are sometimes stereotyped after September 11. "It gives the wrong idea of Islam. It gives the wrong idea of Arab nation. Those small groups make it hard for Arab American community to live with and communicate with American people."

As students gathered for International Week, professors say studying in American schools like GSU has gotten tougher. "It's more difficult for students to get here first of all, in terms of obtaining student visas," said Joan Stalcup with the school's international studies program. "They go through a tougher visa application process."

The hope is the American students will learn as much from the visit as the international classmates. For some, watching the American elections and the Iraqi war in America has been an education in itself.

"Some people agree with what the government did and some, they don't," said Rocio Lanza from Honduras. "But I think it's good, because you won't always agree with what happens."

"People are encouraged to speak about their views," added Margarett Arfan of Indonesia. "But in my home country, it's more suppressive because they're trying to hold everyone to the same beliefs."

At Georgia Southern, international students make up a larger block than most people realize. More than 350 students come from other countries to study. The country with the most students is Canada. But Nigeria, Japan and India are close behind, so there is a diverse group there.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

 

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