International Coffee Hour is one of the many events SUNY Oswego runs that benefits international students as well as American students trying to improve their language skills over a cup of coffee. Sponsored by the modern languages and literatures department, the program has fun for more than 15 years and assists students in improving their foreign language skills, whether in German, Spanish or French.
“Every Monday afternoon we like to give the students a chance to chat informally….refresh their language skills,” said John Lalande, professor and chair of modern languages and literatures. “I think students feel good having that chance to talk informally with us, seeing us outside the classroom”
Both international and domestic students are encouraged to engage in conversations, share cultural experiences and create friendships.
Junior linguistics major Sonja Treu moved to the United States from Germany when she was just 12 years old. “Not a lot of people I know speak German except my family so this an opportunity to speak German,” Treu said. “I’m trying to go into interpreting or translating.”
International Coffee Hour is also a great opportunity for students to prepare themselves for an upcoming overseas travel or study abroad program -- like Andrew Sommer, a sophomore dual major in biology and chemistry.
“I think it’s good to learn more about different cultures, i really like the german style architecture," Sommer said. "If i go there I want to be able to speak the language.”
Lalande agreed. “Maybe they’re going on a trip, or going to a conference abroad, they have the opportunity to chat in that language," he said.
So come for a cup of coffee and some warm conversation in many languages. International students are also welcome to chat in English about global events and cultures.
Story by broadcasting major Bella Jackson.