By Christian A. Browne
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College hosted a Thanksgiving lunch for international students on Nov. 21. The lunch took place from noon to 2 p.m. in Roosevelt Hall on the Blackwood campus.
About 200 international students attended the event out of the 300 international students who attend the college, said international student adviser Lani Nguyen.
“It’s much more than a meal. It’s about showing the international students how much we appreciate them,” said Nguyen about why she helped start the Thanksgiving lunch for the international students.
Students were served turkey, Caesar salad, house salad, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, bread, rolls and sweet potato pie, which was made by the cafeteria staff at the college.
Students from Brazil, Ireland, India, Nigeria, Austria and other countries went table to table meeting people and interacting with classmates and friends.
“Lani invited me and I felt that it was nice because I could see everyone and get together. It’s nice to meet more friends and to see who else is a part of international students,” said international English student Franciely Lippert about why she came to the lunch. “I like the idea a lot. It seems like the college made us welcome.”
Among the international students who attended the lunch were students majoring in nursing, business, English, communications and other fields.
“It’s free food, so yeah that’s why I came … because I know everyone else since I’m a part of a soccer team,” said international student James Garrard. “I enjoyed it. The food wasn’t that good but good atmosphere.”
Nguyen said making the event happen was a team effort. “The dean and assistant dean got the food. I talked to the students and made them feel welcome,” she said.
Nguyen, food service workers and faculty members welcomed students to the lunch. Around the tables, students talked about the classes they were taking, the experiences they have had being in a new country, how they got to the college, why they came to the college and other topics. The students spoke in English and their native languages.