International students often get lonely upon arriving to a foreign country. The International Club of El Camino College helps them find friends and feel at home even while being thousands of miles from family.
“There is a whole world out there,” the President of International Club Julio Tena said.
The International Club welcomes all students to join the organization. The club aims to promote diversity on campus by connecting students from different countries, according to the website.
“It is a club where students can meet regularly with each other and make connections among themselves,” Tena said. “Students can come and join the club whenever they want, they can just walk in to any meetings.”
Alice Sun, the club’s Vice President, added that the international club is striving to create an international platform for students to exchange and share ideas.
“The club’s meetings and events are meant to connect international and local students in an effort to explore what we have in common and learn about our diverse perspectives,” Sun said.
One does not have to be a foreigner to join the club: local students are welcome to get involved.
“I am not personally an international student, but I am very interested in international affairs,” Tena said.
The club’s meetings take place every Thursday, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Social Science Building, Room 127. According to the club’s website, during the meetings, in addition to socializing, students have an opportunity to engage in various extracurricular activities on and off campus that allow them to learn about different cultures.
“In club meetings we usually make announcements about events and participate in activities that relate to international backgrounds,” Tena said. “We try to include everyone. We also play games and invite guest speakers who come and talk about things like stress and student issues.”
The International Club is working closely with the ECC International Student Program and other organizations to ensure achievement of their goals, according to the website.
Becoming a part of the club’s Cabinet is one way to make a difference.
“I became the club’s President by reaching out about an opportunity to become a Cabinet member,” Tena said. “I came to every Cabinet meeting and tried to find a position for myself.”
The Vice President is also very involved in the club’s affairs.
“I became the Vice President of the International Club this semester, because our former Vice President got an internship opportunity, so she was not able to handle the extra-curriculars on campus,” Sun said. “I think, becoming a VP is a great way to show my support to international students and help them achieve their academic goals.”
The International Club embraces the differences between cultures and helps build friendships, allowing club participants to develop their social, organizational and academic skills.
“Community college is really great, but a lot of the time you don’t have people to talk to outside of class,” Tena said. “So we want to create a community where people can get to know each other, be comfortable and share a common experience.”
Students can reach out to learn more about the club via website, Instagram, events or email.
“I found out about the club though Rush week,” Stephanie Gonzalez, Communication studies said. “I really wanted to join a club this semester.”