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An Association for World Culture

By Julio Obscura
On February 11, 2011

  • Association of International Students Group. Photo by Julio Obscura

The world is filled with great universities, but there is only one university which is filled with the best of this world. Texas A&M International University is known for something very special and every student knows about it, but some haven't paid much attention to it. We are a unique university, the reason being that in our university's name we carry the word "International". That word alone changes the whole structure of the university, thus creating a more diverse environment. This "International" privilege has led to the creation of a student organization by the name "Association of International Students, better known as AIS. TAMIU's AIS, is a revolutionary and fast growing organization, which promotes world culture, awareness, and lifetime friendships. The organization was founded on basic important concepts,

1. for both local and international students to engage faster.

2. to promote diversity, culture and union.

3. To create important leadership roles for international students.

Every semester the university hosts new international students, from all over the globe, unfortunately sometimes students don't notice the opportunity of a good friendship.

            Florent Sicard is a French international student and is the current treasurer for AIS. Florent expressed," When you are an international student you basically, don't know anybody, but through AIS it is a good way to introduce yourself to people."

When international students arrive to Laredo, most of the time they don't know anyone. Sometimes it is hard for them to adjust to both Mexican and American cultures and for others, it could take a long time to adjust or make friendships. This is one of the many reasons why this organization was created, to avoid a situation of this nature. Maybe you are asking yourself, why should I care? And my response would be, because it depends on all of us how an international student expresses back in their countries about Laredo, our people, our traditions, either on a good or a bad way. Obviously we don't wish bad comments, because we want more foreign students around campus. The organization is extremely important, because as a member, local students offer important help to the international students for them to have a successful  academic year, filled with fun and interaction.  One of many AIS goals is to promote culture, for the current  members is very important, because you  will learn, understand, make better judgments and even promote study abroad.

            AIS members wear their shirts proudly, and in the back of the shirt it has an important and wonderful quote by Gandhi saying, "Because no culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive" in other words, no culture can survive without interaction of other cultures. Most of the organization's members have either studied abroad, are from abroad, or simply are very intrigued and curious about the world. Ale Avila is the organization's current President, and has been working very hard, along with her officers. AIS is also one of the few organizations that has international student officers, this is to allow for their voices to be heard and to increase their opinions, and student engagement around campus. AIS also offers weekly events that range from free language classes of French, Mandarin, Dutch and also by organizing trips to Austin, San Antonio and other parts of Texas, in addition to other events, they offer movie, & bowling nights, international potlucks, and many other socials. This year the organization has been one of the fastest growing and most interactive ones maybe in TAMIU's history.  This organization has a very strong potential which is beginning to be exploited. Alex Barrera an officer for AIS said, "Thanks to this organization we have made great friends  from around the world, and we have become very attached to them, but when they are gone is like they take a little piece of our hearts  and they  take it with them around the world."


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