/mō-zā'ĭk/ artwork made by placing together small pieces of glass, stone, etc. of different colors
I am always surprised at just how differently HIU feels when all of the ESL students from Dongseo University finally arrive onto our campus. We have domestic NSO, which is always a blast with all of the different events that go on during that time, and it has always quickly bonded the new students to one another and to HIU. So I was really excited to hear that this year we would be having a ESL NSO. The events from a few weeks ago have already been a success, as the new students seem to be connected and better acquainted than ESL students from years past.
Events for this second NSO started off with the arrival of the new ESL students. Many new faces sprinkled the campus, and HIU felt vibrant with a bustle that could only mean that school really had begun. I was very busy that week when the ESL students arrived, and I did not get to help with the move-in, but I remember walking to work feeling very excited to see so many new people whom I would have better opportunities in the week to get to know. As some of the new students passed me as I exited the Alpha dorms, I tried to greet them with a little bit of the Korean that I had learned from Jun, an exchange student from Korea,
I probably said it all wrong, but the people walking into the dorms seemed to get my excitement as I was racing off to class. I would only have to wait a little while before the first ESL NSO events began.
There is one event every year that I always love being a part of because of how well it breaks that awkward first-impression-ice. This year, the event was put on hold from the Freshman NSO, and saved for ESL NSO so that it would really help ESL and domestic students get to know one another. This could not have been a better idea, and it worked like a charm! Graffiti party was, and always is, a ton of fun; and having it a little later than normal this year made it better for everyone. I like to arrive a little after the fun begins so I can be there when everything is in full swing. There is something about signing other peoples shirts with a sharpie that is just too much fun, almost rock-star-esque. Graffiti party eventually turns into what feels like a giant game of twister. You go to sign someone’s shirt, and while you are doing that, someone is signing yours, and so on and so on. This means you have to come out of your shell and talk to people because sometimes a group of 10 or so people will bombard you with multi-colored sharpies. As I looked around the pool, I could tell that everyone was really loving it. People were dancing to the music, laughing with one another, and really stepping out of their comfort zones. Once everyone could no longer remember whose shirts they had or had not signed, then people started to hang out in the pool. I was among the most people who jumped in fully clothed (minus my cell phone of course); it’s like being baptized into a new year. From there the event was all free flow until it naturally concluded.
Photos by Liam McCarthy
Graffiti Party was not the last trick up our NSO sleeve this year as the fun continued on into the weekend with Roller Rock. We filled a skating rink on a Saturday night, full of people dressed as pop and rock stars. I saw people dressed as Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Britney spears, etc, etc. The roller rink, like Graffiti Party, is a great place for people to get to know one another. People, far more talented than I, would whiz past me on the dance floor, skating to the beat. Some people were good enough to look into skating as a career! Though not as frantic and spontaneous as Graffiti party, Roller Rock allowed our new students to not worry about what people think of them and just have fun.
Photo by Liam McCarthy
Photo by Megan Ore
Overall, ESL NSO was an absolute blast! Its multiple events allowed our new international students to get acquainted to HIU’s diverse community, while also showing them some of America’s own culture. I myself have formed friendships from these events, and I am so proud that the whole HIU community came out to meet and greet all of our new ESL students and share in these experiences. This openness and connectivity is one of the many reasons why I even chose to come to HIU in the first place, and I hope that this is only the start to what looks to be a phenomenal year.
by Liam McCarthy
ISP Student Intern