Adjusting to life in a new country can be quite overwhelming. Among the few organizations dedicated to helping international students adjust to life in Ames is the International Student Council.
New officers for the International Student Council have just been selected.
The future International Student Council leaders are selected by the current officers through a combination of an election and interview processes. Latif Masud, publicity director and webmaster of the International Student Council, is optimistic about the incoming officers.
“I feel that we were able to get a unique mix of people from various academic and ethnic backgrounds, who not only have experience in the positions they applied for but also bring fresh ideas that they are ready to implement,” Masud said.
The International Student Council is essentially an umbrella organization to 46 student groups as well as 3,000 international students who attend Iowa State.
Student organizations then select a delegate who will be a part of the International Student Council’s general assembly. This general assembly has the ability to make some changes to membership qualifications or create new duties for International Student Council members.
The goal of the International Student Council is to facilitate cooperation and communication between the communities of Iowa State, Ames and international students.
“I would have to say that the biggest thing that has surprised me is how well [International Student Council] members work with each other, despite being from various backgrounds and cultures,” Masud said.
The event Musud is most proud of International Student Council's International Food Fair.
The International Food Fair is hosted every year in conjunction with Veishea. The International Student Council rents out the dining hall in Memorial Union and allows roughly 15 to 17 international student organizations to cater the food.
The Food Fair is open to the public and often attracts an average of 2,000 to 3,000 people. The funds that are raised from the food fair are then channeled into scholarships that are provided to international students in financial need.
In the same vein of philanthropy, the International Student Council hosts a soccer tournament every year in which the students compete on intramural teams. The proceeds from this year’s tournament are being donated to United Way.
Onalie Ariyabandhu, events coordinator for the International Student Council, is really proud of International Week.
"Members put in a lot of effort and organize multiple events throughout a week during the fall semester," Ariyabandhu said.
Throughout the school year, the International Student Council hosts events such as welcome picnics and graduation receptions for international students.
Students interested in sampling multiple cultures are able to attend International Dessert and Snack Night along with the International Bazaar.
Starting in the fall, the International Student Council is aiming to get feedback from students who hail from all walks of life.
“The plan is to hold open forums starting next fall, where all students can attend and provide us with what they feel the current issues are and what [International Student Council] can do to help them,” Masud said.
Though officer elections are already finished this year, students are encourage to run for office next spring. Masud said that time is an important resource for those who are thinking of running in the future.
“There are weekly hour-long meetings, and then each member is required to put in three hours per week in the office,” Masud said.
Ariyabandhu, who has been with the International Student Council for two years, emphasized how well the Council integrates members of different nationalities together.
"What surprises me the most is how we share many differences among our selves but still work together as a team. We have never had any issues among the members what so ever," Ariyabandhu said.