Across University of Georgia’s campus, there are students from South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, India, Brazil, and 118 other countries from around the globe. In total there were 1,945 international undergraduate and graduate students at UGA in 2015.

If you want to appreciate what it means to be on such a diverse campus, take a pen and block out time on your calendar from 11:30am to 1pm every Friday. Since 1972, UGA has held “International Coffee Hours” in the Memorial Hall Ballroom to help students learn about each others’ cultures.  

The events include light food from the hosting organization, as well as (you guessed it) free coffee. And with flags hanging throughout the building and snippets of different languages being spoken, you can get a true sense of the cultural melting pot of UGA while in Memorial Hall.

For the fall, the Indian Student Association, the Chinese Student Association, and the Hispanic Student Association are hosting coffee hours, among other groups, and even a few departments such as the Office of International Education and the University Health Center have partnered to host one of the free Friday gatherings.  

Mollie Simon

Nana Boateng, a junior and nutrition science major, has been involved with International Coffee Hour since her freshman year and was the coffee hour chair for the World Ambassadors last year. She sees the events as a way to introduce different cultural organizations on campus to all UGA students.

“Coffee hours show that there is more to the world than just America and more to our surroundings than just Athens,” Boateng said.

Mollie Simon

Recently, the Vietnamese Student Association was handing out tastes of bánh mì sandwiches, rice, and more to eager students lined up out the door. Guests gathered around high top tables or neat rows of chairs to laugh, eat, and watch slides with facts about Vietnam on a projector. The event ended with an interactive quiz game, Kahoot!, which allows people to play on their phones and challenge the attendees to remember their newly acquired knowledge about Vietnam.