International Culinary Experience Like No Other.

International Culinary Experience Like No Other.

In the late 1980s, Harold Hall, who at that time was serving as director of international recruitment, organized a small gathering for the international students of Mount Union College to get together and enjoy food from the different countries they came from. The students cooked food from their respective countries and brought it to the … Read more

AIS members

In the late 1980s, Harold Hall, who at that time was serving as director of international recruitment, organized a small gathering for the international students of Mount Union College to get together and enjoy food from the different countries they came from. The students cooked food from their respective countries and brought it to the gathering to share with their peers. Each year, due to the increase in international student admissions, the gathering got bigger. Soon, the international students brought guests to the gathering.

Close to 30 years after that first gathering, the International Dinner is now organized by the Association of International Students (AIS). The event is held annually and has been a collaboration between AIS and the University of Mount Union’s food service provider, AVI Foodsystems.

This year’s International Dinner featured three festivals as its theme – Lunar New Year from China, Pongal from India and Day of the Dead from Mexico. Tables were decorated with paper dragons, which were hand-made by AIS members, chalk drawings (done with color pencil this time) and hand-painted mini skulls. The skulls were not as intimidating as I had expected. Being colored so extensively, they actually look… nice.

This year, the food represented countries including Greece, Romania, Thailand and Jamaica.

Greek Salad – Greece (for obvious reasons)

Stuffed Mushrooms – Italy/America

Pad Thai – Thailand (again, for obvious reasons)

Jerk Chicken – Jamaica

Ciorba Soup – Romania

Chocolate Fondue – France/Switzerland

The performances during the dinner were by Mount Union’s very own international students. The night featured singing and dancing and ended with a traditional Japanese dance called “So-Ran Bushi.” The traditional dance was performed by the Japanese students of Mount Union and depicts ocean waves and the tasks of fishermen.

It was a great night and I couldn’t help but feel relieved. Planning this with the other executive board members of AIS was stressful. At the end of the day, it was worth all the time spent. I had the opportunity to meet some great people from the Alliance community and also faculty members.

Now that this is over, I can finally eat, sleep and BREATHE normally again.

Which makes me wonder… what’s next for AIS? Wait and see.

Around the World with Food.

Have you ever wondered how food tasted in different regions of the world? I certainly have! These past few weeks have been pretty stressful for the Association of International Students (AIS). Each year, the AIS hosts the International Dinner in the Kresge Dining Commons. It is that time of the year again. The dinner falls … Read more

Have you ever wondered how food tasted in different regions of the world? I certainly have!

These past few weeks have been pretty stressful for the Association of International Students (AIS). Each year, the AIS hosts the International Dinner in the Kresge Dining Commons. It is that time of the year again. The dinner falls on Saturday, November 10 this year. With only less than a week remaining, the planning committee is starting to feel the heat.

What is the International Dinner, you ask? The International Dinner is a themed dinner where guests get to feast on dishes from around the world, as prepared by our very own AVI. The dinner also features performances from Mount Union’s own international and local students. The dinner is a great opportunity for members of Mount Union and Alliance to experience different cultures from around the world.

The dinner menu is carefully selected by members of the AIS executive board and will feature food from different regions of the world. This year’s menu features dishes from East Europe, South East Asia, and the Caribbean. The international students will also be helping AVI prepare some of the ingredients before the dinner. But do not worry; it will be the chefs of AVI who does the actual cooking. I would tell you more about the food, but doing so will only ruin the surprise.

Some of the students will also perform during the dinner. I can tell you for sure, that there will be a traditional Japanese performance during the dinner. It is a great opportunity for students to showcase their talents and their native culture with the community. Did I mention that some of the international students will be dressing up in traditional outfits?

Even though planning this dinner is no easy task, I do enjoy doing it. Being one who is very proud of my foreign status, this is also a chance for me to create a platform for all international students to share their culture with the whole community. This is part of the “bridging the gap” goal that I had mentioned earlier in my introductory blog post. This being my last year at Mount Union, I also want to leave, as they say, “with a bang.”

Just in case you were wondering, you can reserve a spot for the International Dinner during lunch and dinner hours in front of the cafeteria or call the Center for Global Education at (330) 823-3296.

Tickets for adults are priced at $10, students at $8 and children under 12-years old at $5.

With all that being said, I guess all I really have to say is “SEE YOU THERE!”

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Dinner is usually the same routine every night: swipe card, grab tray, grab plates of food, grab drink, sit with friends, eat and talk with friends, put tray away and leave.  Tonight there was the Ohio Platinum Chef Competition.  There were a few other schools around the area basically having a cook off.  I didn’t get to eat any of food they were making, but I did get a nice heaping pile of food on my plate.

I ate a hamburger first, then I heard that there was a hot dog eating contest about to begin.  I walked over because there was a good crowd gathering to watch and one of my teammates was in the competition so, of course I had to support him.  There were empty seats and I assumed it was too late to sign up.  It wasn’t, and the winner gets $50.  I could always use extra cash so I enter the contest.

The contest consisted of eating as many hot dogs as you could in five minutes.  I’ve always watched Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on television and I always see the winner eating 50+ hot dogs in 10 minutes.  This number obviously wasn’t my goal but as a smaller contestant, I hoped I could out-eat the bigger guys.  Considering I’ve been eating a lot lately and not been working it off, this was going to be challenging, especially since I just ate a hamburger not five minutes before.

I was getting nervous because cameras seemed everywhere, students, and people dressed nice, so this meant that they were here for business; this frightened me.  The contest began and I was keeping up with my teammate, dog for dog.  With two minutes left, I was at five, and the hot dogs weren’t settling well.  I kept eating, dipping the buns in water and trying to not even think about chewing, I just bit, chewed slightly and swallowed chunks of hot dogs and buns.  With two minutes left, I felt terrible.  I felt like the food wasn’t going to stay down, but I ended up finishing the sixth hot dog.  This didn’t matter because the first place contestant had eight hot dogs finished, my teammate had seven, and I had a respectable third place finish with six hot dogs in five minutes.

This was fun, but terrifying because of the amount of people, lack of training and all of my friends that I had let down (not really). Anyways, if you get the chance to go to the cafeteria on an eventful night, do it because it’s a great way to socialize and watching people suffer from eating mass amounts of hot dogs in a tiny amount of time.