International Graduate Students Association Presents: Annual Potluck Dinner

by Tatuli Okriashvili and Emily Anderson MBA'20,

Fulbright Scholar Tatuli Okriashvili MBA'20 recounts IGSA's Annual Potluck Dinner and why she attending Willamette MBA as an international student.

  • Group photo of students and faculty and staff.
    Group photo of students and faculty and staff.
  • Student playing the cookie game
    Pooja Jain MBA'20 plays the cookie game.
  • Student preparing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and two students in traditional Indian saris.
    Left: Alex Abdullah MBA'20 prepares a beloved American classic--PB&J. Right: Himalaya Rao-Potlapally MBA'19 and Natasha Torres JD/MBA'20 wears traditional saris.

One of the reasons I enjoy attending Willamette MBA is that the classes are small and each and every professor and staff member is actively involved in each student’s development. I grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia and moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright student last summer. For international students specifically, the small size of the cohort is great because we are able to get the most out of our experience living in the United States while still being exposed to many different cultures from around the globe.

The International Graduate Students Association annual dinner is one way we experience other cultures in the program. On Saturday night, first-year, second-year, faculty, professors, and staff members came together with their families to enjoy playing games and eating home-cooked food from around the globe. Each person brought a different dish to the potluck for everyone to try.

The dinner kicked off with some games including Twister, cornhole, and the cookie game, where one tries to get a cookie from your forehead to your mouth. People competed to win gift cards and everyone who brought food was entered into a raffle.

Then was the best part--the food! We had food from all around the world, such as  India, Georgia, France, Vietnam, and South Korea. There was even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich station.

It was great to try foods from across the globe and experience other’s culture for an evening. Attendees wore traditional clothing from their cultures and the room was decorated with flags from countries international students are from.

The IGSA dinner was a great way for students to share their culture and promote diversity at Willamette. It demonstrates Willamette’s commitment to not just education in the classroom, but to the social aspect of being a student. Through events like this dinner, we don’t just learn from professors, but from each other about other important areas in life--cooking, dancing, and having fun.

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