Join: International Students Organization

Published on Dec 02, 2013
ISO at the World BazaarISO at the World Bazaar

The international student population is growing at Columbia, so it makes sense that the International Student Organization (ISO) is also growing. The primary goal of ISO is to promote  cultural exchange on campus and create connections between foreign students, with each other and the natives. We asked sophomore and AEMM major Kurara Marutani, secretary and treasurer of ISO, what the group specifically does and how you can be involved in their upcoming buddy program. 

Tell us about the Buddy Program.

I got to know about ISO after I became part of the Buddy Program. It pairs a current Columbia student with an incoming new international student to guide them during their first semester at Columbia and in Chicago. I'm very glad that I signed up for this program because it helped me in adapting to a new environment much faster and more easily. After that, I started attending the ISO meetings and now I’m one of the executive board members!

What makes ISO run?

I would say that the primary goal of ISO is to engage students by promoting cultural diversity throughout Columbia. ISO can lead students to explore their interests in world cultures, including America.

So how exactly do you promote cultural exploration?

ISO members meet each week in a casual way to talk about a specific topic and plan events. Members of ISO can be anyone, not just international students. We also put on events that promote cultures from around the world. The most recent events were 24 Hour Night, the Kawaii Café and the World Bazaar. Coming up is Holipalooza! Then, there is World Enigma, our annual event in March. It’s an arts and talent showcase that displays the creative achievements of Columbia’s international students. 

How can you join ISO?

We welcome anyone to be part of the organization and you can join by coming to the ISO meetings! ISO meets every Friday at 5:30 in 618 S. Michigan, 4th floor.

What have you gained from being a part of ISO?

Being a part of ISO made me more familiar with and aware of different cultures from all over the world! Most importantly, I met people from many different countries and that made me feel that I am in the center of the world!