During the first Saturday of fall break, 16 students, mostly international students and American friends, took the South Shore train to Chicago for a day trip to spend time exploring the city.The students split into groups after taking pictures at the famous “Cloud Gate” monument (nicknamed “The Bean”), and picked from many different activities around the city in order to explore the rich, vibrant life of Chicago.
“We got to go get Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza and really just get to see more of the States than the city of Goshen,” Chris Moon, a sophomore, said. “It was awesome to get to see what a big city is like.”
International Student Council planned this trip to bring together the international students over break when many other students had gone home or traveled elsewhere. The leaders of the council this year include Chau Bui, a senior; Ashika Thanju, a senior; Jae Lee, a junior; Dechen Tuladhar, a junior; Vasanth Kumar, a junior; and Moon.
“This is ISC’s main organized out-of-town adventure of the year, except for a trip to the dunes in summer or fall,” Skip Barnett, international student advisor, said. “They have on-campus meals and events at Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Since the international students are on campus for breaks where a majority of the student body leaves, this allows for the fostering of relationships between these students.
“You know we can’t really go home and see our families when everyone else can, so we’re here together and that creates a lot of chances to get to know each other and each others’ circumstance and culture,” Moon said. “We’ve created a community that knows each other really well and has a lot of fun together.”
Jae Lee was in charge of organizing the trip, which was a big feat as quite a number of students were going to a big US city to sightsee for the first time. Lee provided the students on the trip with a list of possible activities, including everything from shopping to sightseeing to dining.
“My favorite part of the trip was food that I had in Chicago,” Lee said. “We went to an authentic French café, called Toni, for little snack. They were serving very tasty macaroons and also extraordinarily delicious cheesecake. And also we went to a Japanese restaurant where there’s a grill on every table so we can grill our own meat. I personally love eating and going to good restaurants.”
These fun activities are not just for the international students but are open for any students to participate, get to know international students, and experience a close community.
“A trip like this, or any ISC event, is a great tool to develop friendships and get to know new people,” Lee said. “It’s always fun to go to Chicago, but it more fun when you go to Chicago with friends that care and share enjoyment. ISC is a such a unique group with no boundaries.”