As the sun set in the autumn sky, the University’s international and (Esther G. Maynor) Honors College students streamed into Chancellor Meadors’ backyard for the annual fall cookout.
They want s’mores!
At left, Su Chen, a business management major from WuhHan University of Technology in China, and Lili Zhan, an English language and literature major from Harbin Normal University in China, enjoy s’mores.
“We do this to expose some of our special students to some of the fall traditions in America,” said Mrs. Barbara Meadors, wife of Chancellor Meadors and hostess for the event.
From decorations to the food and entertainment - bobbing for apples and toasting marshmallows for s’mores – it was a taste of the season.
“It’s very fall,” is how University events planner Kandice Kinlaw (University & Community Relations) described the backyard decorations, that included pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, “mums” and bales of straw for sitting around a campfire.
The menu was traditional fall fare, featuring Brunswick stew, cornbread, hot chocolate, candy apples and much more. Although the food proved tasty, some of the international students had difficulty identifying what they were eating.
Claudia Fimpel, a German exchange student from Ludwigsburg Normal University, held up a piece of cornbread and made some intelligent guesses.
“It’s bread; it tastes like potato bread,” Fimpel said. “I know this is not chili con carne; I think it’s a stew.”
Lin Wang, an MBA candidate from Janjing, China, was dressed for fall in jeans and Timberland boots.
“I had a test tonight, but I did not want to miss this event,” Wang said. “I talked to my professor, and I will take it tomorrow.”
At left, Wu Qian, a finance major from Xian Petroleum University in China, and Yang Xi, an information technology management major from Wuhan University of Technology in China, enjoy a seasonal dinner that included Brunswick stew and cornbread.
China has many fall traditions, he said, and some are like Halloween. Ali Saghai, a management information systems major from Umea University in Sweden, said Halloween is catching on as an international fall tradition.
“We have Halloween in Sweden, but the children do not go out to collect candy,” Saghai said. “At Easter, the girls dress as witches and go out and get treats.”
Many of the international students had previous exposure to the U.S. including Saghai, who said he attended high school in California. Yuko Suenaga, a Japanese Master of Public Administration candidate, said international students enjoyed a costume party at another U.S. university that she attended.
“It was fun. One student dressed as the tin man from the Wizard of Oz,” Suenaga said. “We trick-or-treated in the neighborhood, but we didn’t do too well.”
UNCP has 81 international students from 21 nations, said Dr. Robert Schneider, (International Programs).
“I just returned from Russia with a faculty group,” Dr. Schneider said. “Six UNCP faculty members were published in Education Siberia, and we are planning a joint student Olympiad in physics with Tomsk State Pedagogical University.”