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American and International food the topic of this week’s “Coffee and Conversations” event

October 28, 2011

Nestled Wednesday afternoon in the Stockdale Private Dining Room, sat a cluster of international and Monmouth college students who took the time to discuss cultural ideals over steaming cups of coffee and tea.

 Coffee and Conversations, led by new educational studies professor Sheila Marquardt, has met several times this year with the past two meetings being open to the public to join. Marquardt explained that the primary goal of the experience is to establish a forum for international students to connect with Monmouth College students.  They are encouraged to ask questions, engage in different aspects of cultures and exchange ideas. 

Upon arrival, the students were discussing their assimilation with American food.  Four international students, Adile Deliiman from Bulgaria, Victoria  Nencheva from Bulgaria, Yendry Torres-Vindas from Costa Rica, and Mizuki Amagai from Japan all expressed different opinions and observations.

 Deliiman explained that at first she didn’t eat anything except salads and really missed Bulgarian food, but that now she’s getting used to it, and absolutely loves tacos— a food they don’t have in Bulgaria. 

Amagai explained that the food is not too different, because Japan carries many different varieties of food but that American food seems to be heavier and bigger portioned. 

Torres-Vindas expressed that in Costa Rica people eat beans and rice only for breakfast, and in America, people seem to eat them whenever they want.

The topic then shifted to focus on Thanksgiving, which for most of the exchange students, it will be there first time celebrating.  They asked many questions pertaining to the holiday and the assumed “tradition” of Black Friday shopping. All four exchange students will be sent to host families over the break and many are looking forward to the new thanksgiving food they have heard so many students talk about. 

Marquardt asked the students present what their view of the holiday meant.  The exchange students talked about the historical aspect of Thanksgiving, and Marquardt explained that although that is where the tradition derived from, many families have adopted the time to say what they are thankful for or to reflect upon the year. 

The students seemed excited for the holiday but more excited for Black Friday shopping where they will be able to partake in the pandemonium that often accompanies it.


Chat with the International Students!

Want to have these discussions with the international students yourself? Go to any of these upcoming Coffee and Conversations:

Location: Private Dining room in Stockdale

Nov. 4  2-3 p.m.
Nov. 9  4-5 p.m.
Nov. 21 4-5 p.m.
Nov. 29 4-5 p.m.

Jennell Oddo
Online Editor

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