On the weekend of Feb. 24 to Feb. 26, five Clayton State University students (Tony Yaacoub, Lebanon; Yash Brahmbhatt, India; Amber Nguyen, Vietnam; Elitha Sinclair, U.S.; and Shuranda Taylor, U.S.) represented the University among 175 participants from colleges and universities across the state at the 2012 Georgia International Leadership Conference (GILC).
The annual event is held at the Rock Eagle 4H Center, near Eatonton, Ga. Brett Reichert, Clayton State associate director, International Student Services Office (ISSO) accompanied the students. This year marked increased representation for Clayton State; five students attended, compared with two last year. Among the five attendees, senior Yaacoub and junior Taylor, presented at one of 15 sessions at the conference. Their presentation, entitled, “Interpretations of Different Gestures Around the World,” was one of the most popular, according to Reichert.
“GILC was an event I will never forget, the life impact will be lasting, and I look forward to incorporating many of the ideas shared from students at the participating universities,” says Taylor.
The intensive weekend of workshops, sessions, simulations, and inter-active cultural games was designed to break down stereotypes, raise global awareness and build social networks in a fun, structured setting.
Brahmbhatt, a sophomore biology major, says, “It was great meeting so many other international people surviving in the U.S., dealing with F-1 visas, homesickness, and without families…”
“The weekend was structured and intense by design,” Reichert says. “In addition to attending three sessions from among 15 available presentations, participants put on an international fashion show, a talent show, watched a moving documentary film about cultural stereotypes, learned Kung Fu moves, were entertained by a `Chinese Lion Dance,’ took a nature walk to Rock Eagle, held two dances, and even found time for s’mores around an outdoor global campfire! All this in just about 40 hours, not including a little time for sleeping.”
The annual event is open to all Clayton State Students who are interested in world issues, international themes and other cultures. Photo highlights of this year’s GILC have been posted on the Facebook Page of the International Student Services Office: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clayton-State-University-ISSO-International-Student-Services-Office/165772960107113.