NationaliTEA: Making New International & American Friends
CU Denver Students Learn About Cultures at Fun Event
What better way to enjoy making new friends from around the world, savor delicious teas and cookies, and learn how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in several languages (for example, “hello!”/English =”nĭ hăo!”/Chinese, “pirivet”/Russian, “namaste”/Hindi). It was all conveniently located right here on the University of Colorado Denver campus through the NationaliTEA spring events, hosted by the Office of International Affairs.
The March inaugural event welcomed dozens of international and American students, along with CU Denver faculty and staff, and included a variety of fun “get-to-know-you” activities. In a lively one-minute meet and greet activity, partners greeted each other in the traditional ways of their own culture and shared a few additional details about themselves before rotating down the line. As one participant commented, the volume level of the room “grew significantly as people were laughing and exchanging information.”
“The purpose of NationaliTEA is also to get international students comfortable with interacting with faculty, staff, and other students,” said Aditi Nigadkar, an international student who is earning her master’s in information systems at the Business School. Nigadkar is also a student assistant in the Office of International Affairs; she helped to plan and coordinate the event.
“Since international students are traditionally kind of shy, we wanted to host an informal event for them to get to know us as well as each other and other students,” explained Nigadkar.
Following the first activity, the group was split into smaller, diverse groups of five. Within the groups, each person taught his/her teammates how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in another language. In a wrap-up presentation of the NationaliTEA event, individuals were invited to present to the larger group, demonstrating how many new “hellos and goodbyes” they had learned in their ten minutes of “speed learning”. There was much laughter and applause, and the top three winners took home CU Denver schwag prizes.
Lesley Bishop, Assistant Director, Experiential Learning Center, described the event as,
“Tasty and fun! The refreshments specific to different countries, cultures, and ethnicities was a thoughtful way to promote the discussion and improve understanding of different experiences.”
Psychology major Shubhesksha Shrestha said, “The event was really great. I enjoyed meeting with everyone, trying out different food and talking to new people. Thank you for an amazing event!”
With international students coming to the University of Colorado Denver from a wide variety of countries, more international activities are underway. International student leaders have started a new club on campus: The Association for International Students. Meant for all students at CU Denver, both international and American alike, the club will focus on creating a strong community and give voice to international students throughout the campus.
Join us for the next NationaliTEA event on April 6th, focusing on art and music.
NationaliTEA Schedule & Location
Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Student Commons Speer Gallery Reception area (around the corner from room 1500).
We look forward to seeing you soon!
— Office of International Affairs, University of Colorado Denver