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ASU coalition brings awareness, support to on-campus international students

November 09, 2017

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of profiles on ASU's diverse student coalitionsLearn more about the Asian/Asian Pacific American Student Coalition and Black African Coalition.

The Coalition of International Students (CIS) at Arizona State University aims to promote communication among all international student organizations in an effort to coordinate and consolidate activities of on-campus international students.

The CIS has nearly 40 full-time members and hosts various outreach events each year. Here, the coalition's president and vice president, Meitong Chen and Dickwyn Yong, share more information about the group. 

Question: How did the Coalition of International Students start? 

Answer: The coalition started quite a while back, and the main purpose for its inception was to represent international students as a union. We have gone through several changes over the years but our mission remains, which is to help international students feel represented at the university.

Q: What kind of activities does the coalition host?

A: CIS does quite a few things over the course of the academic year. We have Welcome Carnival, a Halloween party and our signature event, International Night each fall. In spring, we host a Career Prep Fair and Glo-Ball Night.

International Night is the coalition's biggest event of the year.

Q: What's your favorite part about the CIS? 

A: Our favorite part of the CIS is definitely the events that we host. We are always around mingling to have conversations with the participants and are sometimes surprised to hear about the unique cultural background that some students come from. 

Q: What's the biggest challenge your coalition has faced while you've been here?

A: The biggest challenge is definitely outreach. That was the biggest goal we set out to reach this year as we want to recruit and attract more international students. We have experimented with many different ways of outreach, but we are still trying to reach a group that we call "invisible" students. It's a growing problem as more and more international students come to ASU.

Q: What's your weekly schedule look like?

A: Our weekly schedule at CIS includes overlooking the internal and external operations of the organization. We work with some of our members on special projects and have conversations with other board members to keep everything on track.

Q: Do you have any events coming up?

A: International Night is just a couple weeks away. The event features a plethora of cultural food, performances and activities and will be at the Sun Devil Fitness Center's fields on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

Q: How can people get involved?

A: We always need an additional hand when we're hosting an event, whether it may be small or large. Our social-media sites are a great way to look for opportunities to help during our events. [Find the group on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.]

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to people to know about the CIS?

A: While we are the Coalition of International Students, we always welcome everyone to our events and even to join as a member. Our office is located at the Student Pavilion (225J), and we're always there if you have any questions that you want to ask in-person.

Top photo: Representatives from the Coalition of International Students participate in ASU's Homecoming parade. 

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