The International Students Association is the newest student organization on campus and was started by Zain Hernandez. It is an association for foreign students to share their different cultures, socialize with other foreign students, help each other with practical sources and have a community on campus while being far away from home.
Hernandez started the International Students Association (ISA) for the purpose of giving foreign students a community to lean on while being homesick. Hernandez said, “I’ve always been a person who has been proud of being an International Student from Belize, and throughout my time here at Spring Hill I’ve also enjoyed learning about other student’s different cultures.
“It’s this experience that motivated me to start a club where we can promote this diversity and create a space where we get to have fun as we learn about this diversity that is presents amongst us,” Hernandez added. “I also remember my first years at Spring Hill College where it was a bit hard to adapt as I had never been to the United States before and especially not to a college like Spring Hill. This was another one of my motivation for the club as I believe that the International Student Association, can help international students to easily integrate into the campus community.”
This association provides foreign students with resources such as Curricular Practical Training (CTP) which is permission to work and maintaining a driver’s license. Foreign students are not allowed to work in America without a social security card, ISA helps students find the resources to work. Ferguson O’Rourke says that ISA changed his life. “I was able to stay in America over the summer and work. I gained a source of independence through one of ISA’s resources, Curricular Practical Training. This helped me receive a social security card and help me work throughout the summer. I was working at a job that was related to my major.”
This student organization also holds on-campus activities as a way for students to get involved. ISA holds mixers that include foreign activities so that people could meet each other. This is also a way for foreign exchange students to bring their culture on to Spring Hills’ campus.
According to statistics generated by SHC’s Office of Institutional Research, 52 of the college’s nearly 1,200 students are international students.
The ISA has partnered with Spring Hill dining to do “around the world meals” every two weeks. So far, the countries that have been represented are Germany, Belize and France. On April 20, the next country that will be featured is Venezuela. For more information, contact email@example.com.