Office of Global Education and Diversity Presents Global Coffee Hour

Anna Culver, Staff Writer

On Sept.12, the Office of Global Education and Diversity held this semester’s first global coffee hour from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Global Coffee hour invites students from all cultures to come and take a break from studying or grab a snack. 

Currently, global coffee hour is being held weekly on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Savitz Room. This year is the ten year anniversary of Savitz Room and the dedication of the flags that currently hang in the center of the student union building.All of the flags that hang in the student union building were hung during the flag ceremony on International Day. International Day is a day that is dedicated to worldwide peace.  

Since 2008, Wilkes University has been hosting Global Coffee Hour once a week.Global coffee hour offers an opportunity for international students to get together, socialize, play games and drink coffee. Wilkes University houses about 250 international students that come from places ranging from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait to Colombia, and more. 

For many of the international students, English is not their first language. Thus, coffee hour was designed to provide them the chance to interact with people from similar cultures.

“Students can come to practice their English or take a break from their English,” said Summer Rivera, an intern at the Office of Global Education and Diversity. 

The Office of Global Education and Diversity is honoring Hispanic Heritage Month and relating the theme of global coffee hour to various countries that part of the hispanic culture. The theme for the first global coffee hour highlighted the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Global coffee hour allows students from these particular countries or students interested in the culture of these countries to have the chance get together and talk about the respective cultures and societies while enjoying a cup of coffee in a friendly environment. 

“I just like the organic conversations that happen across cultures. It gives the opportunity to have conversations organically without being afraid to ask the tough questions,” said Erica Acosta, associated director of diversity at Wilkes University. 

Next Wednesday, the theme is scheduled to be Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama. Consequently, each coffee hour will be themed after countries from each continent. With each continent and country, coffee hour is going to have themed foods that are traditional to those countries. During this week’s hour, empanadas were served along with coffee and tea.

Coffee hour also incorporates American cultures and traditions in the mix. It is a space that is created for everyone that welcomes different ideas. Global Coffee Hour gives international students the chance to learn about different aspects of American culture like acronyms and slang words.

One Wednesday in October, coffee hour will be themed after Halloween and give international students the chance to learn more about an American holiday. Many global coffee hours will also not have any theme at all, encouraging students to come together and take a break. 

The hour welcomes everyone and if you are looking to take a break for twenty minutes, you can stop by. It creates a space where international students and American students, even students from underrepresented cultures, have a chance to come together and discuss issues and beliefs that may be different. “People see the same things differently,” said Georgia Costalas, executive director of the center for global education and diversity and director of international student services at Wilkes University.

For more information about global coffee hour, contact [email protected] or [email protected].