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Global Family Cookout Brings ODU International Students Together

  • ODU President John Broderick and picnic guests

To the pulse of upbeat international music, more than 400 Old Dominion University students, staff and faculty from around the world gathered with their colleagues from the United States at the Global Family Cookout on Monday afternoon, Sept. 20.

Sponsored by the Office of President John R. Broderick, the Division of Student Affairs' Office of Intercultural Relations and the international student group Global Student Friendship, the gathering was designed as an opportunity for members of the campus community from far away to meet people with a shared experience.

"This is a very wonderful event where people can just come after class, and just enjoy the wonderful season, the wonderful weather, and hang out and meet a lot of new friends that they haven't met before," said Kurnia Foe, founder and director of Global Student Friendship, and an Indonesian doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering at ODU's Applied Research Center in Newport News.

"For someone like me, this is a great opportunity to make connections, because I'm typically not on campus. It's just a great, fun day."

While music played, picnic guests enjoyed a buffet dinner, featuring American food as well as cuisine from around the world.

"Events like this are crucial for intercultural community building. It's an opportunity for students to make those connections," said Alicia Phillips-Dunlap, ODU's associate director of intercultural relations.

Avin Jamadagni sat with two colleagues from India, enjoying dinner and the beautiful late summer weather. ""I think it's a great place to meet people from all over the world. Usually the food is really good," said Jamadagni, a master's student in mechanical engineering.

"We're just so fortunate to be at Old Dominion University. It's very welcoming to international students."

This article was posted on: September 21, 2010

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