For international students living at The Hun School, home is sometimes thousands of miles -- and multiple time zones -- away. For students who can’t easily travel home on weekends or see their parents face-to-face, the International Student Association has become a second “home away from home.”
“I feel honored to be a part of this because with this committee; we just want everyone who is part of boarding life -- especially international students -- to feel included. People can enjoy each other's presence, knowing it’s a safe environment,” Sophie L. ‘23 said. Sophie hails from Hong Kong, where strict Covid protocols mean she doesn’t get to see her family often during the academic year. “Sometimes in the United States I feel homesick, or like I want to teleport home.”
New this year, the International Student Association is an on-campus club for international students to share their cultures and experiences with the wider Hun community. Cultural Competency has been one of the seven essential skills embedded in The Hun School’s curriculum. Regular programming and events help create a mutually beneficial community of cultural exchange and learning.
“We’re a community from all over the world, and together we work on ways to bring out our cultures and educate the Hun community about the different countries we’re all from,” said Kaveethma D. ‘24, a junior from Sri Lanka.
For Kaveethma and many Hun students, coming to Hun is the first opportunity to meet people from different countries. The International Student Association, along with the Cultural Competency and Resident Life programs , create intentional programming and opportunities for students from different backgrounds to learn more about one another.
“It allows our community to learn about each other better, especially people from different places. I never met anyone from Finland or Russia until I came here,” Kaveethma said.
For both Kaveethma and Sophie, the benefit of being part of an international community of learners is that they get to learn about other cultures while sharing their own.
At one of their meetings recently, the students all wrote down the holidays they celebrate on a large calendar, and they hope to celebrate as many of them with the entire resident life community as possible.