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University of Dayton Magazine

Friends of Africa

11:20 AM  Feb 21st, 2013
by Megan Garrison '14

Twice a semester, Torch Lounge finds itself converted into a new region of the world; a region that is home to the 1,500 international students on our campus.

The month of February plays host to many holidays promoting love and understanding. It’s no wonder such a month was chosen to host the Friends of Africa Reception for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to talk, eat and enjoy a culture that finds its home among so many students here at UD.

“The food is delicious, but I came for more than the free food,” said Olivia Kellman ’13. “I went to Africa over Christmas break with my family. It is one of the most breathtaking places in the world. I wanted to come and meet people who, like me, know the region or know more about it.”

While Kellman traversed the room, speaking with several African international students, trying to find out what the words to a song she learned in Africa meant, Scott Zingale ’14 found himself speaking to some international students from a region a little farther east.

“I think they have an assignment to do,” Zingale said. “They all had notebooks and were asking some simple questions about me and the event.”

Zingale had found himself surrounded by international students from Asia, interested in making friends with more American students on campus.

As for me, I spent some time speaking with a group of Middle Eastern students about the food and how their classes are going, all of them happy to open up about how much homework they have. Our cultures may be different, but it seems the life of a student is always the same.

Before everyone parted ways, stuffed on delicious, traditional African food, we watched a group of African students perform several tribal dances. The atmosphere was contagious, pulling numerous students into the dance whether they were American, Asian, Middle Eastern or African. We are all UD students after all.

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