What students had to say after participating in the Cross-Cultural Group Discussions:

"I decided to do the group discussion to meet more people, and get more chance to talk in English in an informal setting. It’s also a good way to relax myself by doing things outside of my school work. In order to enjoy this group, you can prepare something that you’d like to talk for weekly topic. But don’t worry, this group doesn’t force you to talk. Don’t skip just because you don’t have time to prepare. If you feel tired, you can just listening to other people and learn from them. You can also come up with random idea and say them immediately without worrying about formatting your idea to much. There’s also snacks every week. You can enjoy them whenever you want. Remember you can also talk to people before or after the group. I’ve made friends there. Hope you can enjoy making new friends too! I’m probably going to another cross culture group session as long as it won’t conflict my schedule. Maybe we will meet in the group. Thank you for reading!"



"During my entire high school’s years, I just concentrated on studying and did not have much time to make friends. I regretted it. Thus, I decided I would join a club or group during my university freshman year. While exploring among student clubs and groups, I found the ISSS’s discussion group and wanted to try this. Later, I was very proud of myself because it was a great and right choice. Having to study for 18 credits and work 19 hours, no one would image a CSE student would devotedly join a student group, and especially when she had to take care of herself as an international student. However, I felt the opposite. I felt that it was the group that took care of me emotionally. The members felt like true friends and family members to me, despite the difference in age, race, or major. When you come to the group, just be yourself and talk out of your head. Your idea does need to be fully formed, because you come here to learn and to understand better. First day of discussion may be suffocated, especially to emerging yourself among strangers. However, wait for 2 or 3 weeks! You will miss and be desperate for the day of discussion to come."


"I had two reasons which convinced me to participate in this program. First, I used to work in my country and was busy during days. So, I usually didn't have enough time to travel to other countries or learn about them and their culture. It was a great opportunity to learn about it here with people from different country. Second, since I came here to accompany my husband I don’t have a permit to work, so the discussion was a good chance to start communicating with people from other country and learn directly from them. It helps me to understand what is going on in other countries. Also, I need to improve my language skills and what is more effective than a close informal group of people that welcome you and with whom you can talk with.

This group was on the top ten 'duties' I enjoy doing during the week. I’m happy that I heard about it when we first arrived. I would have regretted missing it. I think you need to participate regularly and feel free to share your opinion, since nobody would judge you. It is kind of relaxing group. I’ve learnt that life is the same in all over the world and people have the same concerns everywhere. The most memorable time will be our last session, we went bowling and play together, although we missed Ms. Wanda. At last, I want to say I’m looking forward to participating in this group again next semester and I hope to make more friend there."

 

How to join

All UMN students (international and domestic) can join one of the six (6) Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups being formed for spring 2018. Each group will meet weekly starting in mid-February through the end of April:

St. Paul Campus
Wednesday: 2:00-4:00 pm

To register, please submit the online application by 5pm on February 4

Questions? Email isssgrps@umn.edu

Selfie of two girls