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Society for International Students Blog

38th Annual International Dinner

by Loanne Liu on April 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

International students – unique, diverse, and proud blazers! As a part of the large blazer family, we have a commitment to return to the community that have embraced our unique presence and welcomed us all with open arms, semester after semester. This spring semester, the biggest project that we have had to tackle is the INTERNATIONAL DINNER. This dinner is the third largest event of the school, and as a result, takes lots of time to prepare and practice. ID putting up flags

All the individuals, both students and citizens of Valdosta, who attend are always left impressed, well fed, and very entertained. However, this blog won’t be focused on what happened the night, but rather the events that led to the spectacular night and the people who made the event possible. We won’t deny the fact that the last days leading up to the event were the most chaotic; everyone was scattered and last minute changes to the programs were being made. However, many moments of laughter, small jokes, and clowning around took place. I believe that what made each moment even more special was the fact that everyone was trying to have fun while working. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

President Katya from Kazakhstan and Vice President Gloria De La Garza from Mexico

President Katya from Kazakhstan and Vice President Gloria De La Garza from Mexico

The day that often tests the patience of all those involved is the practice evening held the day before the dinner. In addition, while the practice was taking place, there is a full staff kitchen in Hopper Dining Hall with a very talented and dedicated group of international students who were putting their taste buds and time to the test. I was able to take a peak in the kitchen, and if you love food just as much as I do, you would have wanted to taste everything that was being made. There were cuisines from all over the globe being made and perfected, and there I was hanging around in the kitchen with a camera and the urges to dip my finger in the batter that Daniel was making and pick on pieces of Turkmen patty that Merdan, Suleyman, Genna, Carly and Jordan were working on.

Belizean students: Carly, Idelfonso and Jordan cooking in the kitchen

Belizean students: Carly, Idelfonso and Jordan cooking in the kitchen

Columbian Student: Daniel Araque cooking

Columbian Student: Daniel Araque cooking

After getting away from the hall of temptations (Hopper Hall), I went back to the Student Union where I caught many of the other international students practicing their performance. I got a chance to learn a few steps of Azonto from Tochi, Somaya, and Vianey, pick up a few words from the K-pop song that was being danced by the flash mob, and got to walk around the stage with the hosts of the show: Aysia and Kirk.

Francisca (Belize), Aysia (USA) and Mistress of Ceremony, Waleed (Saudi Arabia)

Francisca (Belize), Aysia (USA) and Mistress of Ceremony, Waleed (Saudi Arabia)


Japanese Students about to practice their traditional Japanese dance

Japanese Students about to practice their traditional Japanese dance

The night was a long one for all those who were preparing for the successful day to come. Even though, for the most part I was walking around and taking pictures, through my lens, I was able to capture the effort, dedication, and work put into the International Dinner by the international student community of Valdosta State.

Student at the 38th Annual International Dinner

Student at the 38th Annual International Dinner

SPECIAL THANK YOU TO NAOMI CHEE FROM BELIZE FOR SUBMITTING THIS WONDERFUL PIECE ON HER FIRST INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE AT VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY. WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE STUDENTS AND MEMBERS OF THE VALDOSTA STATE COMMUNITY FOR MAKING THIS EVENT A SUCCESS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR.

Naomi Chee (Belize)

Naomi Chee (Belize)

Preparations for 38th Annual International Dinner

by Loanne Liu on March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Every year the Society of International Students(SIS) hosts one of the largest events at Valdosta State University.It is called the International Dinner and this year is the 38th time it is being held. The International Dinner has become an annual event whereby international students attending the school work together to plan and host the event. This year’s theme is Journey around the world, the dinner will be based around the theme of travelling around the world. Food from the four continents: Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas will be served buffet style. While guests eat, they will be entertained with traditional dances, songs and even music performances by international students and student organizations. For this event to be possible, the SIS does fundraising to help cover some expenses. So far the SIS had a Valentine Bake sale whereby Valentine cards written in foreign languages were sold, along with decorated cupcakes.

Valentine Bake Sale

Valentine Bake Sale


This Friday the SIS will have an International Bake sale whereby international treats will be sold. This event is one of a kind because it is student driven, meaning that every part of this event involves students. The money raised goes towards the international student foundation that helps provide opportunities for international students attending Valdosta State University. It is also a night to share diversity and culture with the Valdosta Community. There are many ways in which one can support this wonderful event. One main way to help is by becoming a sponsor of the event, attending the event or participating in the silent auction and raffles during the event. We hope to have a sold out show and once again impress our guests. The International Dinner will be held on March 29 at 6:00 p.m., tickets can be purchased at the Center for International Programs or on March 11 at North Campus and on March 13 at the Student Union on Main Campus at Valdosta State University.
Journey Around the World

Journey Around the World


We would like to thank everyone for being part of such a unique event and we hope to see you all there!For more information visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sis.vsu!

Welcome back

by Loanne Liu on January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Society of International Students would like to welcome all new and returning students. This semester we started off our first Cultural hour featuring Japan. We were very pleased with the attendance and participation of the students. The Cultural hour started with a quiz based on Japan, followed by making your own Mochi. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, then students enjoyed playing a card game called Karuta.

Students playing Karuta

Students playing Karuta

After all the fun games, students got a taste of delicious Japanese food. Students were then offered the chance to wear Japanese Kimonos. We would like to thank Ms. Ai Kataoka for planning the event and joining with the SIS to make this event such a success. We look forward to keep sharing culture here at VSU.
Students in Kimonos

Students in Kimonos

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New SIS officers 2014

by Loanne Liu on November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Society for International Students would like to introduce its new Executive committee leaders. Elections were held on Friday November 8, whereby students were given the chance to vote online. The new president, Katya Solomkina, is a very energetic and friendly young lady who is a sophomore from the country of Kazakhstan. She is also a senator of the Student Government Association at Valdosta State University. We are very excited to work with her because we know she will do an extraordinary job at representing the Society for International Students on campus.

Katya Solomkina

Katya Solomkina

Our newly elected vice president,Gloria De la Garza, is a Freshman majoring in Chemistry. She is from Mexico and has shown interest in making the Society of International Students her priority.
Gloria De la Garza

Gloria De la Garza


We are eager to see how the SIS grows with the new leadership of these two talented young ladies. With talent being mentioned, our newly elected event coordinator, Tatiana Tsaruk, is a very artistic young lady. She enjoys singing, dancing and art. We are glad to have her on our committee because we know she has creative ideas for our events.
Tatiana Tsaruk

Tatiana Tsaruk

Returning to her previous position, Marie Reyes is our treasurer once again. We are also happy to have her back because she will be important in helping the newly elected officers with their roles.
Marie Reyes

Marie Reyes

Giselle Greaux is our new Publicity Coordinator and we believe she will do a great job in this position. She is an International Business and Marketing major who contributed to the creation of the new App, Blazernation here at VSU. She is very friendly and outgoing, which is a great quality we appreciate in our leaders. We are so excited to be working with such talented and friendly young ladies.
Giselle Greaux

Giselle Greaux

Our newly elected secretary, Dilcia Turcios is a senior majoring in Intercultural Communication. She loves learning about new cultures and sharing her own. She is a very dynamic young lady that loves to meet new people. We are excited to have her on our committee because she has shown interest in making the SIS her priority as well.
Dilcia Turcios

Dilcia Turcios


This year we created a special position Graphic Designer for a very talented young lady, her name is Eliza Reyes. She is a sophomore from Belize Central America who has been creating all the SIS flyers and graphics needed to promote our events.
Eliza Reyes

Eliza Reyes


We really appreciate her work and time she has given to this organization. We would like to officially welcome her to the Executive Committee and let her know that we look forward to continue working along with her. We would like to thank all of these brave young ladies for accepting these important positions and to be the leaders of a growing international student community. We look forward to making 2014 a better experience for international students here at Valdosta State University.

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Nigerian Cultural Hour

by Loanne Liu on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
Flag of Nigeria

Flag of Nigeria

WA-as the Yoruba will say. Zo-as the Hausa will say. BIA-as the Igbo will say.

WAZOBIA-Come, come, come!
Friday the 11th of October was definitely a beautiful day to share Nigerian culture! Since Nigeria had just celebrated her independence on the 1st of October, the SIS thought it plausible to make Friday’s cultural hour a celebration of Nigeria’s vibrant culture.

This culture-sharing event began at exactly 2:00pm and took place in the Center for International Programs building. Students arrived promptly, enthusiastic to embrace the Nigerian culture, food, languages, etc.
The president of the organization, Chioma Madueke, a Nigerian, started off the event by showing a video about what Nigeria and life in this amazing country looks like. The video discussed the various recreational spots in Nigeria, the different cultures of various Nigerian ethnic groups, the food, and so on. This video also helped in dispelling the myths some students had about Nigeria and helped the students see Nigeria and the Nigerian culture in a different light.

Chioma Madueke, President of SIS

Chioma Madueke, President of SIS

Somai Nwokike, the Secretary of the organization and another Nigerian student, and Chioma, also enlightened the students about the various languages, food preferences, and all other interesting facts about the Nigerians. There are three major languages from the three major ethnic groups: Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa. There are over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria. You know what else is pretty cool? In those ethnic groups there are different languages, and for those languages, there are different dialects! This right here is a salad bowl of diverse cultures! Can you believe that?

Somai Nwokike

Somai Nwokike

Moving on, Nigerians enjoy having their food spicy! Chioma and Somai explained that one of the adjustments they had to make when they moved to the US was concerning the food. For example, whenever they want to prepare a Nigerian dish for their American friends, they have to bring the spices down a notch. Although they do like their spicy food, they have to accommodate different cultures and people of those cultures who are not exactly used to spicy food. This is also one of the main goals of the SIS—to encourage students to embrace/accommodate various cultures.
Speaking of food, after the info session about different aspects of the Nigerian culture, it was time for the food!! The dish for Friday was something the Nigerians call Jollof Rice and it was served with plantains. Kudos to our chefs Somai and Tochukwu Madueke, the PR Officer of the SIS, and also another of our Nigerian students, because the food was AMAZING! Jollof Rice is one dish that is common amongst all Nigerian people, irrespective of their ethnic groups. It is also a pretty common dish in some parts of Africa.

Serving Jollof Rice and Plantains

Serving Jollof Rice and Plantains

In all, the event was a success. The guests that attend had their perspectives broadened by learning more about the Nigerian culture. The SIS is definitely pleased to have some Nigerian students in the organization who keep sharing their amazing culture.

That’s all for now folks! As the Nigerian Igbo people will say—Daalu oo! Nwe ubosi oma!

Special  thank you to the author of this post Tochukwu Madueke our public relations officer for the SIS!

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SIS wins Homecoming parade 2013

by Loanne Liu on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Every year Valdosta State University celebrates its Homecoming whereby students are encouraged to participate in several activities. The theme for this year’s homecoming was commUNITY. The Society for International Students incorporated the theme and came up with their own which was 50 nations, 1 commUNITY. The 50 nations is the amount of countries represented by international students attending VSU which makes up one community. The theme was appropriate for the SIS because the organization is on a mission to be more active on campus.

50 nations, 1 commUNITY!

50 nations, 1 commUNITY!


On Saturday October 7, international students began to congregate at the Center for International programs at approximately 9 a.m. They were encouraged to wear VSU colors or traditional outfits from their home country. Many came out representing their home countries and were eager to participate in the parade. Students were provided with flags from their home country in which they held or wore as part of their clothing.
Students in Traditional Dress!

Students in Traditional Dress!


The parade began at 11 a.m. and the SIS had international music played by a Belizean Dj, Dj Karlo. The music was very live and our students celebrated by singing and dancing throughout the parade.
Dj Karlo!

Dj Karlo!

We also had a student dressed up as VSU’s mascot, Blaze who lead the SIS in the parade. Students also gave out candy to the children during the parade.
International Students during the homecoming parade!

International Students during the homecoming parade!


The SIS also had its homecoming queen representative, Dilcia Turcios from Honduras in the parade. This was her first homecoming parade and she was honored to represent the SIS.
SIS Homecoming Queen candidate Dilcia Turcios from Honduras!

SIS Homecoming Queen candidate Dilcia Turcios from Honduras!

The SIS was so colorful in the parade with all the flags and energetic students which made us win the Presidents award. We are very proud to win this award and we couldn’t have done it without our students!

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