We live in a global community. International interaction has become an integral part of virtually all industries and students are now needing to understand globalization along with everything they learn from their textbooks. While studying abroad is a valuable resource for learning this lesson, Lake Land College offers the opportunity to learn about the world right here in Mattoon.
Lake Land is home to about 50 international students. People from all around the world come to Mattoon seeking the opportunity to learn with the advantage of attentive teachers and a small classroom environment.
“The best part of being a student here is that the teachers at Lake Land College are good, friendly and enthusiastic. They helped me a lot with their whole heart. I love them and I feel grateful to them,” said Le Phunong Vy Tran, or as her American friends call her – Vy. She is an international student from Vietnam.
Since moving to Central Illinois can be quite a culture shock, Ted O, director of international studies, encourages international and traditional students to participate in campus and community opportunities to share cultures and help in the transitionary period.
One such opportunity for Lake Land students to get to know each other is the International Buddy Program. This is a pairing between a domestic and an international student to promote sharing cultures and community. They meet about once a week. Another weekly occurrence is the English Café where international students get together with domestic students to learn American slang and practice their English speaking skills.
Chances to share cultures are also spread out throughout the year with the Global Family Program where an international student is matched with a community family to meet a couple of times a semester and, perhaps, to spend the holidays with. Field trips are also organized to take international students and interested traditional students to do fun and interactive activities. Previous trips have included site-seeing in cities like Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis as well as ice skating in Champaign. Local trips are also planned for activities such as going to the movie theater to watch the newest blockbuster hit.
Every November, International Studies hosts the International Culture Show and Tell as a part of International Education Week. Students set up displays and activities that represent their homes. Some past favorites have been folding origami and taste testing food from around the world.
To learn more about International Studies or how to get involved, contact the International Studies office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-234-5382.