Letters to home

Students write letters to loved ones at International Center Coffee Hour



Intenational students write letters to their families and friends abroad.

CAROLYN MCCAMPBELL, Evergreen columnist

Friday, the International Center held an event for international students to write letters home. This was another event in the Coffee Hour series, held every week from 3-4 p.m.

The IC paid for international postage for 32 total letters, said Cody Tornow, assistant director and retention specialist for the IC. 

The IC didn’t just pay, but they also gave students directions for the proper way to address American letters, which sometimes domestic students may not even think about.

Most attendees had photos ready beforehand to send home, but those without could still have their pictures printed. 

At first, it was a jovial and exciting environment; attendees talked, made new friends and reconnected with those they had already met. 

However, soon after letter supplies were handed out, many became quiet as they wrote to their loved ones, silently concentrating on what experiences they should tell them about. Some wrote to their significant others, some wrote to friends and others write to their siblings and parents.

Valentina Sierra Jiménez, doctoral student studying biological systems engineering, wrote to her boyfriend and her brothers who live in Colombia. Her favorite part of the IC is that they connect people from all over the world. Jimenez said that they are kind to the international students and make them feel not so far home. 

Anna Ivanova, doctoral student in political science is one mentor. Originally from Russia, Ivanova is a Teachers Assistant in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. 

“I help newcomers, [such as] new international students, to adjust to the culture here and just try to solve their problems with housing, with social security numbers, things like this,” Ivanova said. “It’s pretty hard to get an immediate response from the international center, and we [peer mentors] are the ones who are easier to approach.”

Any student, undergrad or graduate, is welcome to apply regardless of international experience. All students need is “a desire to help and a willingness to learn,” according to the peer mentors website. 

The website also has a “Meet the Mentors” page where students can see who the mentors are and their interests.

Any student, international or otherwise, is welcome to stop by the Peer Mentor Office if they have any questions or need help. The website also has a calendar, so students can see who is mentoring at what time and on which days. Or, if there’s no time to stop by, the office can be reached via email at [email protected].