Group reaches out to international students



By Alicia Brab

A taste of global culture came to Lexington on Sunday as students from various countries came together for a belated Easter picnic.

UK’s international students were treated to a picnic held by Students Taking Action Globally at Shawneetown Apartment Complex. The event was held in appreciation of UK’s international students who also may have families living with them on campus. Around 75 people came to the event and many of them brought their children.

Among the activities were Easter egg dying, an egg hunt and many bottles of bubbles. An ice cream sundae station was crowd favorite, and as children were busy laughing and playing, parents were busy meeting other international students.

Program Director Megan Bowling busied herself making colored Easter eggs with the children, and said it is often difficult to get students involved with global outreach.

“STAG focuses on global outreach and it’s really hard to get students interested in global outreach when it does not affect them, so we thought we would try to change it up a bit this year and focus on Lexington,” Bowling said.

“ … We thought it would be a great idea to have a picnic for our international families to let them know we how much we appreciate and really want to be a part of them and their community.”

Organizers and volunteers mingled with attendees as everyone pitched in for the day’s events.

Daniel, a picnic attendee from Italy, said he is finding students to be helpful, but one of the major difference he has noticed in Kentucky is a culinary split.

“One thing I noticed about American food is you put garlic in everything,” he said. “We do not put garlic in our pizza at home.”

Daniel has been at UK for three weeks and said he is enjoying his time as a student on campus. “One thing I have found is that life is more colorful for an undergraduate student,” he said.

While the day was what many Kentuckians would call perfect picnic weather, Daniel said he is having a hard time adjusting to Kentucky weather.

“The weather was very changeable, and it was driving me crazy at times,” he said.

Webber, an electrical engineering doctoral student from China, attended the picnic and said he is also finding students on campus to be friendly.

“People here are very friendly, and if you have questions, they are happy to help you and I was very impressed by that,” Webber said. “The recreation at UK is fantastic. I like playing basketball and swimming. Life is good.”