International student podcast ‘Around the World’ returns for another semester

Around the World
Photo by Claire Keener

With multimedia production on the rise, podcasts and other streaming services are enabling communities to connect, especially communities on school campuses like Boise State. 

“Around The World” is a weekly podcast created by Boise State international students for international students.

The podcast is a resource for international students to get information about events on campus, as well as tips and tricks for navigating Boise life. 

Listeners can tune into the podcast every Thursday at 4:00 p.m.on University Pulse Radio or listen to past episodes on Spotify. 

Manon Preteseille, a junior French secondary education major, hosts the weekly podcast with her co-host Johann Vargas, a junior Bolivian computer science major.

The two started the podcast during the 2021 spring semester and have resumed again with the fall semester.

The first episode of “Around the World” aired on Sept. 9, 2021. 

“The first one was about coming back,” Preteseille said. “So much happened over the past few weeks so we just wanted to go over all these events and do a quick summary of what’s going to come up.”

Around the World
[Photo of Manon Presteille and Johan Vargas recording their podcast ‘Around the World’]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Preteseille, Vargas and International Student Coordinator Keith Quartraro sat down in February of 2021 to discuss plans for the 2021 fall semester.

Keith Quatraro works at International Student Services under the Center for Global Education, and serves as the supervisor for the international peer advisors.

“We were still doing all virtual events and we wanted to provide interactive, engaging and informative events for students,” Quartraro said. “And it was just a thought that we should try a podcast because podcasts are popular.”

Vargas and Preteseille are also peer advisors at the International Student Services Office, where they work to provide on-campus resources for international students.

“Keith had this idea of hosting a student podcast for international students,” Preteseille said. “They always have questions that I want to share so we thought it’d be fun to just have something related to Boise State but talk about international student stuff.”

Even though Quartraro had a big part in the creation of “Around The World,” he takes a more hands-off approach and lets the student hosts take the reins of the podcast.

“I just get our peers in the room and we start talking about ideas,” Quartraro said. “I don’t want to take any credit for it because I feel it’s [up to] Manon and Johann, in particular.” 

Quartraro hopes to build a strong and engaged audience that will keep coming back every Thursday to hear more about international students and the Boise State community. 

One way that Preteseille and Vargas build an audience is by having different guests on the show every week. 

“Usually we try to have guests just because it’s more interesting,” Preteseille said. 

On the podcast, Preteseille likes to talk about topics that are based on American culture. She has a particular interest in Greek life.

In June, Preteseille and Vargas had senior sociology major Elizabeth Peterson, president of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, on the show. 

Greek life is one way for international students to get involved with campus culture. The show allowed for Peterson to share her experiences with Greek life and to encourage both international and domestic students to participate. 

“The podcast was a great way for Greek life to get out there and for some of the other organizations to be able to support communities that we typically don’t interact with on a regular basis,” Peterson said. “Every Boise State student should feel included in everything on campus.”

The show creates a space for interviewees to build a bridge between themselves and the world of students in the Boise State community.

“I thought it was great and that it was a cool experience,” Peterson said. “And then being able to see all the other people they’ve been interviewing and their experiences with Boise State was pretty cool.”

Preteseille and Vargas have done 14 shows so far and have big plans for the upcoming year. The hosts hope to see the podcast flourish over the next couple of years. 

They also hope that the podcast can not only help international students get connected, but also help domestic U.S. students discover different perspectives. 

“That’s the goal,” Preteseille said. “To be something more serious and to have people know us.”

Students can interact with one another through International Broncos on Instagram to learn more about the podcast or to ask questions about international communities.

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