By Jorge Cantu
Germans, Koreans, Japanese, Africans, and Americans all come in with smiles to the Tuesday meetings in room LDC 215 A for the International Friendship Club.
“Students don’t realize that anyone can join, and it is encouraged because it is such a fun program,” Ulli Schraml said.
Schraml is the head of this club, which includes all of the international students, as well as any other Whatcom students who may want to join. There are about 20 active members who attend the meetings.
The International Friendship Club is a government funded program to help students from other countries get involved with Whatcom and other students.
“We host trips almost every other week, and usually they cost about $5,” Schraml said.
The trips include going to cities like Seattle and Vancouver, and activities can be kayaking, hiking, snow shoeing, ice skating, and attending sports events.
“We just went to the Huskies’ game last weekend, and we used to go to basketball games when the Sonics were around,” Schraml said. The club also attend Mariners games. Schraml tries to get them to do things they wouldn’t normally do.
Schraml stressed that any student can sign up to go on any trip, and the cost is usually a lot cheaper than if a student were to go alone without the school.
The biggest event they hold is ‘International Night’ which is a talent show for performances by the international students (as well as any other Whatcom student). It is in the Spring Quarter and the date is still being determined. Every student is encouraged to bring food, and gets in for free if they do.
“It is a giant potluck,” Schraml said. Space is getting limited in the auditorium though due to the increasing number of people attending every year. Last year about 250-300 people attended International Night.
The International Friendship Club is only increasing every year, and everybody is encouraged to join.
“We have over 26 countries represented here at Whatcom this year, and it is a great way to meet people all over the world,” Schraml said