Fresno State students interested in visiting other countries had the chance to attend the first International Coffee Hour (ICH) of the semester on Tuesday, which was notably without coffee due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The ICH has provided Fresno State students with opportunities for cross-cultural engagement for the past 30 years.
Marcela Magdaleno, Fresno State study abroad advisor, said that the event is meant to facilitate students and the surrounding communities’ efforts to learn more about the countries students are visiting.
Mistique Davis, a junior majoring in kinesiology, gave a presentation during the Feb. 8 event in the Henry Madden Library. The presentation covered her past experience studying abroad in Ireland and how the trip was a positive experience, hoping more students apply for the opportunity themselves.
Davis later spoke on the process of applying to the nonprofit Council on International Education Exchange’s (CIEE) Frederick Douglas Global Fellowship. Regardless of setbacks she faced, Davis continued to apply for a chance to initially visit Africa before COVID-19 restrictions caused plans to change the destination to Ireland.
While in Ireland, Davis had the chance to visit historical sites that were once visited by Fredrick Douglas when he too visited the country in the 1840s. Davis also shared that her study abroad group had the opportunity to visit the U.S. consulate and hear from Vice President Kamala Harris remotely.
Originally from Stockton, Davis said having the opportunity to visit Ireland gave her a different experience than the type she is used to in an educational setting. Compared to the typical classroom structure, the experience gave her a chance to work alongside “like-minded individuals” who paid attention to her contributions in class discussions and constructively contributed to the topic at hand, according to Davis.
Davis encouraged students who were interested in applying to do so by the deadline of Feb. 14 at 11:59 p.m.
ICH is held every Tuesday in a hybrid fashion, both over Zoom and in-person in room 2206 in the Henry Madden Library. Kanaan Amoudi will share a presentation about their time in Lebanon at the next ICH on Feb. 15.