Rinker Center for International Programs to offer culture presentations

The Daily News

 Students have the chance to take a trip around the world and explore a new culture without using a passport every Wednesday. 

The Rinker Center for International Programs hosts a weekly culture exchange program and the first for this semester will focus on Saudi Arabia today in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. 

The program has been featured for the past few years and is meant to give students exposure to other countries. 

Rinker Center graduate assistant Leslie Erlenbaugh said the sessions are meant to be casual and informational, and the presenters speak about their country’s culture, language and history. 

“Some professors bring their classes and we have nice sized crowds,” Erlenbaugh said. “The culture exchange is set up to be a nice, casual chance for people to share their culture from their home country and for students and faculty to come and ask questions.”

Students present on a volunteer basis. 

Fahad Aseery, a doctorate student in special education, will present on Saudi Arabia. He has given cultural presentations on the country in the past. 

For this session, instead of presenting on the basic facts of Saudi Arabia, he wants to use the presentation to give the Saudi Arabian perspective on social issues which may not be understood here. 

“When the media talks about Saudi Arabia, it is misrepresented,” Aseery said. “For example, women do not drive and they always think it is a negative thing. When you grow up with different language and different culture, you tend to think differently. I am going to share different perspectives on issues.”

The Tally will feature a meal from the featured country at chef Jason Reynold’s station to connect with the cultural program. This week the dish is Kapsa, a seasoned chicken. 

Erlenbaugh said the weekly culture exchange is an opportunity to interact with those from different backgrounds and possibly gain interest in studying abroad. 

“It’s a really great chance to learn more about your fellow students at Ball State,” she said. “We have so many countries represented here and people may not know a lot about them.” 


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