When studying abroad and moving to the United States from a different country, international students might agree on one central thing that aids in the transition: soccer or “futbol.”
Students from all around the world who come to Weber State University use the International Student & Scholar Center to adapt to life in Utah.
ISSC exists to support international students who may struggle with communication and making new friends.
Weber State tries to assist these international students by creating unique events that harvest fun, communication and unity among the students from all around the globe.
With assistance from the International Student Council, Director of ISSC Mary Machira set out to see what these students would enjoy doing by creating a survey. The most popular survey response was to host a soccer tournament, as the sport is so prominent throughout the world.
“(The survey) was just at the beginning of the semester, so we were trying to put something together before it gets too cold, and we were told about the indoor turf facility on campus, so we thought, let’s see how we can get the students together, get them to invite some of the domestic students and friends, and for them to get together and play soccer together,” Machira said.
The tournament took place on the night of Oct. 13 and was considered a success with upward of 40 individuals participating. Students were broken up into teams and played a soccer tournament before celebrating with pizza and ice cream.
Although the participants might not have known each other before the event, they were quick to unite as teams.
Germany native Tabea Kouchen was one of the Weber State international students to participate in the tournament and come away with a positive experience.
“I think you meet a lot of people that you didn’t know before, and it’s nice to see a lot of different cultures,” Kouchen said.
Students who study internationally may do so in order to experience new cultures and to get away from home, as Kouchen did.
“I wanted to do some stuff on my own for the first time, just to get out of home and experience some new cultures,” Kouchen said. “I wanted to be far away from home, so I chose the United States. And I really like it,” Kouchen said.
Because the event was considered a success, ISSC will look to incorporate events like this more often.
Domestic students are also encouraged to participate, as it can be just as beneficial for them to meet and befriend international students.