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Coffee & Conversation helps get students acquainted

Imagine traveling to a new place to live. Where the culture is foreign and different from home, everyone is speaking a different language, and making new friends is more difficult than ever before.

This is the reality for many international students coming to Boise State from across the world. No matter where they have transferred from and how hard they may have studied to learn English, the transition can be tough.

Having friends who know the lay of the land and friends who are going through the same thing is important in getting settled into a new environment.

Going through extreme changes like culture and language can be stressful and mentally taxing. The Student Diversity Center on campus aims to ease the stresses of these transitions.

Coffee and Conversation is kicking off this week and will happen every Wednesday for the rest of the semester.

Not only is it a great environment to make new friends, but coffee will also be provided along with tea and other snacks.

“Coffee and Conversation is open to faculty, students, friends from outside of campus and anyone who is interested in making friends with international students,” said Mila Lam, a senior chemistry major. “They can come to this event, we have coffee and cakes and it’s very informal.”

Some students may come for the free food, but leave with a new group of friends.

“If the international students don’t want to come, they don’t have to come. This is like, if they are willing to make friends and open themselves up to relationships, they come here,” Lam said. “Since it is very informal, students feel more comfortable talking and making new friends.”

Coffee and Conversation has proven to be a success in making international students feel more welcomed into Boise State.

“We have this every semester. It’s been going on since before I came here in 2012. I believe it has been going on for awhile,” said Lam.

The Diversity Center is a place where students can go get help with anything that they don’t understand.

College is already stressful and confusing enough without the cultural and language barriers these students face.

“In the Student Diversity Center we have ISS which is International Student Services and Multicultural Services, and we work together,” Lam said. “We work with international students to help them overcome challenges on campus so that they can adapt to the environment.”

Coffee and Conversation will be held every Wednesday for the rest of the semester from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Student Diversity Center located on the second floor of the Student Union Building.

For more information, visit

Lam said, “There is no limit to who is welcome, as long as they feel like they want to make new friends.”

About Madison Killian (0 Articles)
Madison Killian is the assistant Arts & Entertainment editor for the Arbiter, and a junior at Boise State majoring in Communications. She enjoys loud rock music, coffee and long walks on the beach. When she isn't jet setting around campus or interviewing your favorite band, she enjoys spending time with her pets: a dog named Jake and a cat named after Janis Joplin.

1 Comment on Coffee & Conversation helps get students acquainted

  1. Nice article Madison. Being an international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language. Assistance must come from various sources, including Coffee and Conversation-like events. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook to help anyone coming to the US is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding, including international students. Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they contributed to our society, including students.
    A chapter on education identifies schools that are free and explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a new culture, friendship process and classroom differences they will encounter. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work for an American firm here or overseas. It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation. Good luck to all wherever you study!

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