The Association for Cultural Exchange uses Valentine's Day as an opportunity to make Valentines and meet new people.
In America, the meaning of Valentine’s Day ranges from the celebration of relationships to simple, appreciative gestures.
But in other countries like China, the word “valentine” translates to the more intimate meaning of “lover.”
“I was hanging up fliers and this Chinese boy came up to me and asked, ‘Is this event supposed to help me make a girlfriend?’” said Chen Ma, vice president of Association for Cultural Exchange and international student from China.
“(She replied), you can find a friend in there, and if you like her, maybe you could get a girlfriend,” she laughed.
The Association of Cultural Exchange is throwing an event for students to mingle and to participate in American Valentine’s Day traditions.
“The goal of American Cultural Exchange is to introduce international students to American traditions, and to bring domestic students together to have a fun time creating valentines,” said Jessany Middleton, president of the Association for Cultural Exchange.
The group is known for hosting various events related to American traditions, like the annual pumpkin carving in the fall.
“I think our events provide a no stress, no pressure atmosphere where people can talk freely with one another,” Middleton said.
Ma said the exchange group is different from other organizations because it doesn’t seem so exclusive. It’s for everyone, and people like to share their cultures with each other.
“Anyone can join the group, and it’s like a big family,” Ma said. “A lot of people like these events, and suddenly conversation becomes simple.”
The group is donating some of the cards to a nursing home in Athens.