Bridging the Cultural Lines of Communication

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You may have seen an advertisement for the Communication Club in the New University or you may have passed their table on Ring Road, but do you know what the Communication Club is all about?
‘The Communication Club is a language and cultural exchange program that promotes globalization of the UC Irvine community through dialogue and interaction between international and domestic students,’ said Deejay Santiago, the club’s advisor.
The club was officially registered in 2003 by Santiago ‘to increase visibility on campus and promote the clubs’ events to the UCI community,’ Santiago explained. The club currently has 238 members.
As Santiago put it, ‘The philosophy of the Communication Club is to help globalize the UCI community and help both student populations diversify their networks. In addition, it aids the international students by providing them an avenue to practice their conversational English and get connected to campus. For domestic students it allows them the opportunity to learn about a different culture or a new language. All this is done in an informal setting convenient to both parties.’
In addition to meeting with an assigned conversation partner at times convenient to both parties, many members also partake in events held by the club, such as bonfires, potlucks, barbecues, movies and UCI sporting events.
Kazuki Okamura, a second-year social ecology major, has been a member of the club for one quarter.
‘My friend was a conversation partner with another program and I was interested in meeting new people, learning their culture,’ Okamura said. ‘[The best part of the club is] the sharing of the culture that takes place. I get to tell exchange students about the American culture and my Japanese culture, and in turn I learn about theirs.’
Charan Dychioco, a fourth-year developmental and cell biology major, has been in the club for one year. He joined the club simply because he likes ‘learning languages. It provides an opportunity to meet people from foreign countries.’
If you enjoy meeting new people and learning about different cultures, stop by their office in the University Extension ESL Offices building and fill out an application or e-mail commclub@uci.edu.

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