University of South Dakota’s International Club hosted an Around the World Wednesday event for the spring semester on January 27 in the Muenster University Center Pit. The event focused on Europe and provided a meal and educational presentations from four international students about Italy, Montenegro, Greece, and France.
“It’s a way to share a meal, learn something new and meet someone new,” Alice Lunardelli, the President of the International Club said.
The meal on Wednesday had a Mediterranean salad, spaetzle, chicken schnitzel, chocolate dipped biscotti and French macarons.
“Food is a big part of our organization because it is a big part of every culture,” Lunardelli said.
Lunardelli said the events consist of a presentation, a meal and a Kahoot game afterwards about the presentations. Last year turnouts were up to 100 people but Lunardelli said during the pandemic, they host smaller events.
Now, the Around the World Wednesdays attendance is around 50 people. The attendees are able to social distance during the presentations and spread out to different areas of the Munester University Center while eating and come back together for the Kahoot.
“[the International Club] is a bridge between the USD campus and the international students,” Lunardelli said.
The club helps provide a platform for international students to share their culture and provides a community for them to interact more with the USD campus, Lunardelli said.
Charith Madhamanchi, a USD graduate student who attended the International Club event, said he liked “how they express other cultures with food.”
Blessing Ishola is a freshman at USD and said she came because she wanted to meet new people and and learn about other countries. The Around the World Wednesday Event was the first International Club event she has attended.
Ashen Aruradha is a member of the International Club and a graduate student.
“I really enjoy this kind of experience,” Aruradha said. He thinks the International Club does “valuable work” in the USD community.
Last semester, Lunardelli said, the International Club focused on hosting smaller events instead of large events. The International Club will try to host larger events this semester.
“We are pretty worried that we’ll have to work harder to make it happen and to make it fun because we don’t want to just host a Zoom meeting,” Lunardelli said.
The International Club is planning on hosting more events throughout the semester. Lunardelli said the goal is to host one international club meeting each month. The club doesn’t have an Around the World Wednesday event planned for February but on February 22 they will be hosting an International Mother Language Day. The International Club is however, planning two more Around the World Wednesday in March and April.