by Tahira Carter
Cameron University’s International Club embodies cultural diversity and this fervent theme was the motivation behind the group’s presentation on Oct. 28.
International students and members of the CU community gathered in the Shepler Ballroom for a talk about the East Asian country, Vietnam.
Minh Le, a junior Accounting major and Vietnamese national, hosted the lighthearted event that highlighted Vietnam’s history, economy and culture.
Le is one of two Vietnamese students enrolled at Cameron University. As a minority among the international students on campus, he took the opportunity to share some aspects of his country that his peers may not have known.
Ibrahim Karamoko, President of the International Club and senior Business Administration major from the Ivory Coast, was pleased to learn some new things about Vietnam.
“I realized that it’s quite different from what I thought about Vietnam before,” Karamoko said. “I learned about their currency, the dong, and I learnt about the similarities that it has with most of the countries in Africa–we base our economy on agriculture.”
Karamoko stressed the importance of having an element of education to accompany the club’s dedication to the community and its various cultural activities.
“We want the International Club to be educational, social and fun,” Karamoko said. “This is the educational part where students can learn about a different country. The social part is helping people in need within the community and the fun part is, for example, having a dinner outdoors where we can play our traditional music and enjoy ourselves.”
International Student Coordinator Marcella Gustafson helped plan the event but said that the students usually take the initiative to educate their peers about their homeland.
“The students usually volunteer,” Gustafson said. “If we haven’t had a country present before, like we haven’t had Vietnam, we may approach the student and ask them if they would please do a presentation and they are always happy to do it.”
With over 45 different nationalities present at Cameron University, the International Club does its best to give the members of the club an opportunity to highlight their respective countries.
“Usually we try to have two or three presentations a semester,” Gustafson said. “This year we’ve had Argentina, we’ve had Vietnam, and next semester we’ll probably have a couple more.”
In his presentation on Vietnam, Le spoke about various places of interest and the delicacies of the local cuisine but what he missed most about his homeland was his family.
“I miss my parents. Honestly, I don’t miss food or any trivial things I just want to get in touch with my family and my friends.” Le said.
Le decided to make the journey to attend school in the United States because of the elevated standard of education that is offered to students.
“I wanted to study abroad because the quality of education is much better than in my country,” Le said. “I chose Cameron because it offered a reasonable price that I could afford.”
Le was the recipient of the International Club’s Scholarship Award this year. He was presented with the award on Oct. 14, at the Club’s Fourth Annual Scholarship Banquet.
CU’s International Club is open to all students who would like to experience international cultures. For further information, interested students may contact Marcella Gustafson at 580.591.8019 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: Junior Accounting major Minh Le wears his national wear to speak to students about his country of Vietnam. Le is one of two Vietnamese students who attend Cameron University. Photo by Tahira Carter