Easter lunch provides home for international students

Adrienne Burch

Hundreds of international students study at the University of Alabama each semester, but many of them never experience being in an American household. In fact, more than 75 percent of international students never step foot in an American home during their time in the United States.

Lisa Brady, a junior majoring in psychology, and several of her friends have organized an Easter lunch for international students Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Beta Theta Pi house located at 960 University Blvd.

While discussing her Easter plans with friends a few weeks ago, they came up with the idea to have a lunch for international students. It will give them somewhere to go during the holiday and give them a chance to experience an American household type of environment, Brady said.

“I studied abroad last year and felt very welcomed and thought that Easter would be a good opportunity to host international students because they can’t go home for the holiday,” said John Riggins, a junior majoring in international business.

Both international and American students are invited to attend the lunch. Brady said they want to reach as many international students and different cultures as possible.  She also hopes that lasting relationships are formed between American and international students.

“The dinner is going to be mainly a gathering for those who are not able to go home, but there will be an evangelical and outreach aspect,” Brady said.

Reformed University Fellowship, a campus ministry, has offered to donate food for the event. However, Brady said there is still a need for other religious or campus organizations who might want to sponsor or donate to the event.

Riggins said the event will not be overbearingly spiritual, but is just a fun way to meet people and have good food. He said they will also watch the Masters PGA golf tournament, something Riggins considers a great American tradition.

“However, it is Easter, and we will pray before eating, and discussing the reasons for the holiday will not be off-limits,” Riggins said. “If people have questions, we will be there to answer.”

Students can RSVP to the event by visiting the Facebook event “Easter Lunch for International Students!”