The International Coffee House hopes to bring a splash of culture to Taylor’s campus
By Annabelle Blair | Contributor
International Coffee House, occurring tonight at 7 p.m. in the Student Union, offers a unique blend of culture and coffee.
Hosted annually by the International Student Society (ISS), the event features instrumental, song and dance performances in addition to international drinks, creative culture-sharing and, of course, coffee.
“It’s just a chill night,” said sophomore Sophia Hdija, ISS event coordinator and a student from France. She added that International Coffee House provides a platform for students to celebrate diverse ways of life.
“I would say that the heart—the common thread . . . is to give back to the Taylor community and to share their culture and just have fun with the domestic students,” said Kelly Pengelly, director of international student support services and assistant director of intercultural programs.
Although performances are open to anyone, the event primarily showcases international student talent. Pengelly hopes it provides a niche where international students can voice their stories.
ISS President sophomore Chin Ai Oh, a student from Malaysia, welcomes authenticity. “It is not only a cultural expression, but also an opportunity for students to showcase who they are,” Oh said.
International Coffee House is one way ISS accomplishes its goal of building a bridge between international and domestic Taylor students. Pengelly explains this year’s theme, Pier. “The pier is where you would enter another culture,” she said.
At past International Coffee House events, Pengelly was excited to see people getting up from their tables and taking time while standing in line for refreshments to mingle with others from different global regions.
The idea behind International Coffeehouse goes beyond a program. “There’s also food and people just relaxing and enjoying life together,” Pengelly said.
Yeji Kim, a foreign-exchange student from Korea, has been working hard to practice a Korean pop song/dance routine she will be performing with friends.
“I like to do that, because it’s a special moment, I think,” Kim said. “More similar to say ‘special memory’ because it’s my first and last performance in American university.”