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Leaps and Bounds: International students' involvement valuable to all

International students are not the only group of people who have different looks, speak different languages and represent different cultures.

They are the people who strive to become more active to get involved in the American community and promote cultural understanding between international students and American students.

“We all try to present our countries in every chance we get, which poses a burden on us an ambassador of our countries,” said Mohamad Al-Issa, president of the International Student Union. “We strive to adapt and embrace the American culture and way of life.”

As an international student, I can empathize with his words. To not be isolated from the general community is easy; however, to be truly inside the community is hard for international students.

We see international students everywhere on campus. What are they doing?

Besides taking classes, they are actively getting involved with various events on campus; in addition, they are trying hard to create events that create chances for all students on campus to enjoy a better campus life in multiple cultural communities, which is not only for international students.

ISU, on behalf of international students, is the group of people striving to create these opportunities to promote cultural understanding for students.

ISU won first place for its banner in this year’s Homecoming parade. As we know, the Homecoming parade is a traditional festival in America when alumni return to visit their school.

Al-Issa said it took seven hours to build both the float and the banner, adding that seeing the entity come from imagination makes all the work and effort worthwhile. 

The banner itself looked very organized and elaborate. It includes all signatures from general ISU member organizations, a pyramid surrounded by red bricks, the slogan “Beyond the Bricks” and ISU in the middle.

I was involved in some of the operating process and I know how hard it was to make it perfect. Fortunately, our hard work paid off, and we were rewarded.

I’m proud of being a member of ISU in this year’s homecoming parade, and I enjoyed the whole heartwarming process.

I felt an unprecedented sense of pride as an international student, especially when ISU members started to yell out their slogan: “IS-Who? ISU!”

When going through Uptown Athens on Court Street, I heard people’s cheering and applause, which made me feel like Athens is a welcoming community to international students.

International students are appreciative of the welcoming community in Athens.

We will insist on pursuing our goal in the future, and all members from ISU are determined to do that.       

Yun Ye is a junior studying journalism and a columnist for The Post.  Saw the ISU float? Email her at

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