Statewide event helps students find value in traditions of international cultures


Elena Perez

Members of the International Club, Monica Stamme, 30, Program Assistant, Dosha Bautista, 40, Technician, Fernanda Salgado, 20, Child Development, Julio Tena, 19, Economics, have confidence to gain new members because new and exciting activities are planned this semester and the semesters to come for next year. Photo credit: Elena Perez

International Education Week is a statewide event that will be celebrated from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15 at the Library Lawn and will be hosted by the International Student Program with help from the ECC International Club.

ECC International Club members will have tables set up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and each day a different cultural activity will be taught.

People on campus will be able to learn how to use chopsticks, make origami, and hacky sack.

On Saturday, Nov. 17, ISP and ECC International Club will also be participating in a Heal the Bay beach cleanup.

To further celebrate International Education Week the ISP will be partnering with other department events which include a workshop about relationship boundaries, a scholarship breakdown, and a talk about global climate change.

International Education Week will not only highlight the International Student Program but it will also incorporate global education, ISP Program Manager Lindsey Ludwig said.

“It’s bringing the world to El Camino,” Ludwig said. “Us to the world.”

International education is vital to EC as it supports 125 jobs and brings in $21 million to its district according to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

This year EC has about 650 international students, Ludwig said.

In order to apply for a F1 visa international students need to prove to the U.S. Embassy that they can afford their tuition and living expenses.

“International students are not wealthy by any means,” Ludwig said. “They are scraping by to make the tuition here.”

By the restrictions of their F1 visas international students at EC are required to take 12 units per semester which will cost them about $4,500.

International students are also restricted from working outside of EC and can only obtain on campus jobs.

El Camino College is everything to an international student during their stay here.

ECC International Club provides a safe space for international students and any other students who are interested in learning about different cultures.

“We really want to help out the international community at the school,” ECC International Club president Julio Tena said. “And also develop our own understanding of different countries.”

Naoki Hamaguchi, 20, ECC International Club cabinet member from Japan was amazed that many EC students were interested in Japanese culture like anime.

“I was surprised, I was glad, I was happy,” Hamaguchi said.

As ECC International Club continues to grow, it aspires to one day provide a study abroad opportunity for some of its members.

“When you look across any of our oceans you broaden your horizon to what’s out there,” Tena said.

Tena believes that there are not enough perspectives in the U.S. and that there is more to learn from people across the globe.

“300 million is a lot but 6 billion is a lot more,” Tena said.