International students are given a warm welcome to East Lansing

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By Keosha Burton
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

The City of East Lansing, along with Community Volunteers For International Programs, came together to host an event for international students.

The 2nd annual East Lansing Welcomes the World event took place Oct. 2 at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center along with a celebration of 50 years for the Community Volunteers for International Programs.The event, put together by the CVIP, Marie McKenna and others from the City of East Lansing, turned out well with many international students showing up, as well as appearances from the Mayor and Michigan State University‘s President Lou Anna K. Simon.Activities for the event included celebrating CVIP’s 50th anniversary, international entertainment like singing and dancing and a few words from politics and MSU staff.

International students from countries including Indonesia, China and many more places attended the event with the American families that they were paired with.

Many international students were happy to have been a part of the program and were appreciative to have the opportunity.

“I think it’s really nice and sweet,” said Ting Ting Gong, a junior at Michigan State University. “I really appreciate it.”

Not only were international students thankful for the opportunity,  but volunteers were as well.

“It makes me more appreciative to know international students,” said Anne Wilso, volunteer for the program.

While being grateful of the opportunity,  international students also felt they benefited, saying how the event gave them the opportunity to enhance their skills and help them adapt to the American culture.

“Through the program my English will be better,” Said Gong.

More importantly, other international students saw the event as a chance for them to get to know Americans and for Americans to get to know them.

“Gives the chance for international students to know about American culture and gives people in Michigan a chance to know about international students,” said Yiting Shao, a junior at Michigan State University.

David Horner, president of the CVIP, thinks that an event like this gives a warm welcome to international students.

“It makes them feel welcomed to the community. It gives them a non-academic experience,” said Horner. It gives them a home away from home.”

The event was free because it was sponsored by the Board of Trustees , MSU Alumni Association, Visiting International Professionals Program and MSU Federal Credit Union.

Assistant CM and City Clerk/Assistant CM Marie McKenna, said that her goals and hopes are that the event like this will make international students feel welcomed and enhance their experience.

“I hope that it makes international students feel welcome to our community and that it will enhance their experience here,” said McKenna.

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