he “US Culture and Slang” program is brand new and now open to Elizabethtown College’s international students and their friends. The program, which was established by the Office of International Student Services and is a part of the international leadership program, will help foreign students to gain a better understanding of United States culture and society.
Planning for the program began last year, and the first meeting was held in September. The meetings are held on Thursday, every week at 6 p.m. in Hoover 214.
Senior Julia Carboni helped to create and promote the program for the College. The “US Culture and Slang” program “helps to bridge the gap between studies and friendships so that new students can understand American culture and language in a variety of settings,” Carboni said. Even though this program was originally designed for international students on campus, all students are encouraged to attend. The program’s weekly meetings have hosted an increasing number of American students. The meetings’ discussions are focused on customs, slang, cuisine and media.
In the first few meetings, there have been many introductions so that international students can get to know their American peers. Other items that have been touched on in meetings include: life on a college campus, American humor and sarcasm, pop culture and entertainment, sports and superstitions. During the Halloween celebrations, they watched American movies and music videos. They also baked apple pie during their time together.
Students continue conversations with attention to culture from week to week. In the future, the “US Culture and Slang” program hopes to host and incorporate guest lectures and topics that include diversity and multiculturalism.
All of these topics will hopefully help international students understand American culture on a social, academic and personal level. With this program, students are able to break their barriers, learn slang and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. “On the academic level, students will be able to understand what professors expect of them,” Carboni said. “On the personal level, students grow by learning more about another culture and also learn what it means to be a citizen from another country. In this way, the new program facilitates not only the integration but also the growth of new international students within a casual, peer-led setting.”
Carboni, who runs all of the “US Culture and Slang” meetings, is excited for the new program that is available to all students. “My goal for the future of this program is to have many more students become involved so that people from diverse backgrounds can be engaged in discussions centered around American culture. I think it is a great opportunity to help new international students grow acquainted with the culture while also promoting acceptance and tolerance of others’ beliefs and values,” Carboni said.
If any students have questions about the new program or would like to participate in the sessions, they should contact Carboni at CARBONIJ@ETOWN.EDU.