International Students Club celebrates cultures

One of the many distinctive qualities we are exposed to by living in a town like Amherst is its international population.

And at ARHS, we have the International Students Club to bring their energy into a school environment in a number of relevant and engaging ways.

“It’s a club where we recognize and celebrate other cultures by accepting the uniqueness of each, and we share a common goal of community building,” said club president Dalitso Banda.

“There are differences in our individual cultures, and we want to get a sense of people’s unique upbringings. We [also share] traditional food, fashion, and dance,” he added.

The International Students Club looks to build upon the success of their biggest event last year, Cultural Night.

Last January, the club put on a night of food, dance, and a fashion show mainly displaying fabrics and styles from Asian countries.

Members acted as runway models, while food and traditional music set the atmosphere in the background, bringing people together for a night of fun.

“We reached out to many people in the community by teaching people traditional dance,” said Banda.

Banda leads meetings through a structured agenda, discussing strategies to earn money through fundraising and school events.

Once every two weeks or so, the club organizes a bake sale where hungry students at ARHS can purchase delicious goods as they pass though the atrium at the end of the school day.

The bake sale aims to advertise desserts from different countries around the world.

“The objective is to hopefully get the same students and teachers returning for future bake sales, essentially getting people hooked on the food and the culture that comes with it,” said Peter Chham, a veteran member of the club.

To many, the driving reason for joining the International Students Club in the first place is friendship, and this was the reason for Chham joining the club last year.

Chham said that the majority of members are upperclassmen so the club is looking for new members.

“One of our goals is to make you feel comfortable” at ARHS and to fold students into a warm community, said Banda.

Meetings of 12-15 club members occur every Thursday at 3 p.m. in Ms. Piccozzi’s room on the language hallway.