Eric Taunton, News Correspondent
The JSU International House welcomed visiting students at their open house this past Saturday, Sept. 7. As a part of Jacksonville State’s Preview Day, residents and faculty of the House welcomed visitors with refreshments and tours of the building.
“Our goal is to make sure we have 40 students each year,” said Jason Mallet, the coordinator of the International House and study abroad.
Mallet said that the International House recruits students from all over the world, including India, Nepal and Vietnam.
The International House program was created in 1946, but the International House itself wasn’t built until 1964, which is when it became the version of the program that it is today.
Some students live in the International House through scholarships, and others as exchange students. Both international and America students have to apply for residency at the International House.
American students and international students share rooms, each room having one international student and one American student, which Mallet appreciates.
“I love seeing American students getting to interact with international students,” said Mallet. “So many [American students] have never been on a plane, or out of the tri-state area or the country.”
Residents of the International House are required to do one presentation about their countries to the other residents.
“We’re trying to do something different than just doing a presentation,” said Mallet. “We’re thinking about having students performing dances or bringing food from their countries.”
Students are able to build personal and professional relationships not just with each other but with other alumni.
Victor Chukwuma, a resident of the International House, said that he has learned so much since being in the program.
“There’s so much you learn that you think you know but it hits you when you don’t,” said Chukwuma.
The International House is officially open to everyone on Mondays from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. but Mallet encourages anyone to come anytime before 10 p.m.
“Anyone is welcome here,” said Mallet.
Photo courtesy of Grace Cockrell/JSU