The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina on November 24, 1992 · Page 4
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The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina · Page 4

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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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Tuesday, November 24, 1992
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Page 4
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4The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, November 24, 1992 Small talk: Students make friends while practicing English By Erika Helm Staff Writer Gloria Sutton and Joon Yoon stood side by side as they helped paint the Bicentennial mural on the Union Auditorium wall. She painted the second "n" in the ' word Bicentennial with lavender paint while he filled in the last "i." The two make an unlikely match. Sutton, a junior international studies major from Fayetteville, and Yoon, an associate professor of English from Korea, are one of 1 12 unlikely duos who make up the English Conversation Partners Program. The program, which has been affiliated with the University's International Center throughout its 1 0-year existence, matches UNC students and community volunteers with foreign students, scholars and spouses. Partners usually meet once a week to give international partners a chance to practice English with an American friend. Diana Levy, program coordinator of the International Center, said the program allowed for an exchange of culture, gave international students additional support in adjusting to UNC and provided a vehicle for Americans to extend friendship to foreign students. Sutton became an English conversation partner because the idea of cultural exchange appealed to her. "I wanted to gain more insight about different cultures on the personal level," she said. Yoon said being in the program had benefited him greatly. "Having a friend like Gloria allows me to learn about the American culture and the life of college students." The pair usually meet every week for lunch and discuss campus and world issues. They also have toured the N.C. Collection Room in Wilson Library and visited the Ackland Museum. Jacy Ferreira, a part-time Brazilian student, said the University English class he had taken didn't help him with his language skills as much as his English conversation partner, Matt Powell, did. In turn, Powell, a junior English Witnesses paired, it's going to take a lot of money." Poteat said most of her neighbors' houses only had walls standing. Insulation and many of the contents of nearby houses flew into her house, she added. Surrounding the devastation northwest of Hillsborough, some trees were left standing while others were broken in half or torn out by the roots. A washing machine, a dryer, sink and part of the frame of the house lay 20 feet from the home. Spread hundreds of yards into the mm firnn Jf major, has gained insight into Brazilian and American customs. "I've learned about Brazil and different observations about our country," he said. One of these observations is the distance Americans tend to maintain between one another in social gatherings. Brazilians are the opposite, and it's not unusual for Brazilians to hug and kiss when they have just met, Ferreira said. Powell said his friendship with Ferreira had sparked an interest to visit Brazil in the future. Like Powell, Anna Snoderly, a senior history major, also has made some interesting observations about American culture through the program and her friendship with Hiroko Hayakawa, an exchange student from Japan. "When I say common phrases that sound so ridiculous when you try to translate things, I realize how stupid I sound," Snoderly said. "Hiroko has been a real trooper. It's brave to come here and deal with language and function at all." For Hayakawa, the program has developed more than just language skills and a new friendship; it has opened the door to a multitude of companions. "For me, it's very difficult to make friends in classes," Hayakawa said. "After I met Anna, I met her roommate Gloria and some of her other friends." Hayakawa and Snoderly's camaraderie is shown when they, like old friends, discuss the latest music news. "Did you see the new Bon Jovi album?" Snoderly asked. "They look like Duran Duran." Immediately Hayakawa's face lights up as she claps her hands in a sudden rush of joy at the mention of one of her favorite groups. Levy said she was pleased to see friendships develop through the English Conversation Partners Program. "(It's) another opportunity to serve international students in helping them get the most benefit out of their university experience here in the United States." "We've been very impressed with the American students that volunteer, their eagerness to get to know the international students and their willingness woods were Terrell's belongings including clothes, towels and jackets. Poteat said her mother's house, also in Fairview, was destroyed. "When you don't have a house to go to, you always have your mother's to go to," she said. "I don't even have my mother's because my mother doesn't even have a place to stay." Sandy Webb, also of Fairview, said her home barely was damaged, but added that her neighbor's trailer home was twisted around a tree, and the occupant mmm fir. .. , V3 '"'""'.fl ,..L re '". I ' mmmm-f- . -8-- j I- ; vH Y sat a .zz K Jt-J IM'"- i ,. v "y::. , . '.-rr-: . v V It:-:. f t , - - , ::::.:-:.:... ... The International Center provides useful to volunteer their time." Meredith Nicholson, a sophomore radio, television and motion pictures and French major, will take her international partner home with her forThanks-giving break. "I think as a foreign student the more experience you have, the better," she said. was pinned to the tree by debris about 1 5 feet up in the tree. "Everything was torn into pieces," she said. "You couldn't tell this from that." She added the neighbor was screaming and her head was bleeding. "Her head was the only thing you could see," Webb said. "The rest of her body was down in (the debris)." Webb said about 50 rescue workers and neighbors rescued her neighbor from the tree in about an hour. in DTHDebbie Stengel information to students from 85 countries Sutton said she would recommend the English Conversation Partners Program to other American students. "It doesn ' t take much of an effort, and what you gain out of it is immeasurable." Nicholson summed up the sentiments of all the American partners. "It's more like being a friend than being a teacher." Kia Mills, 23, who lived in the Fairview community with her parents, said she was surprised by the tornado. "I heard rain and winds and a sound that sounded like a train," she said. Mills added that she and her parents huddled on the floor for about 15 minutes. Theresa Chambers, 28, of Fairview said her trailer started rocking and then flipped over while she and her husband and two sons were in it. Her husband, Carl, sustained bruised shoulders. Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving ii III! i1 ;: i1 11 And Remember To Take The Hill Home For The Holidays i Home away from home: Center helps foreign students adjust to life at UNC By Erika Helm Staff Writer One by one students pass, never stopping to take a glance at the office that sits discreedy in the comer of the Student Union. Known usually only among foreign students, the International Center, which has been housed in the Student Union since 1980, serves as a place on campus where many different cultures come together, s Here foreign students and researchers from 85 countries flock to gather information varying from immigration laws to how to obtain asocial Security number. , Tina Hsu, a graduate student from Taiwan, said the center's orientation program at the beginning of the year gave her the information she needed. "They grouped together resources that foreign students can use on campus, like library hours and how to apply for dorms, which was very helpful to me." Hsu said she would recommend the center to students planning to attend ' UNC when she returned to Taiwan. Jurgen Buchenau, a Ph.D. student from Germany, said the International , Center helped him with his immigration process "1 think a lot of people come in, and they're really flustered, and they don't understand the bureaucracy, and that's where the International Center comes in," Buchenau said the International Center also had helped him with his social life. In fact, he met his fiancee : when he served as an orientation counselor for the center. David Austell, associate director of the center, said that before 1970 academic departments had to administer the foreign students themselves. In 1972. Jill Bulthuis became the foreign-student adviser and laid down "I thought it wouldn't happen to us," Carl Chambers said. "I saw it on the news, and it happened to us in less than 24 hours. "It's a nightmare," he added. "It's a nightmare." Theresa Chambers said the tragedy did not change her outlook on life. "It's something you can't stop," she said. "These things happen." Fairview resident Ronnie Snipes' trailer also was flipped by the tornado. "When the wind stopped, we were Holiday, the foundations for the center, he said. Jean Hughes, current foreign-stu-; dent adviser, said the center has many different responsibilities to the international student "We're always a place that people can sit down and talk ; about anything." ! One of the main objectives of the center is to try to orient foreign students to the academic system at the University. To help international students make the transition to life in the United States, the International Center offers fourcommunity programs: theSpeak-ers' Bureau, the Host Family Program, the International Women's English Conversation Group and the English Conversation Program. The Speakers' Bureau provides international speakers to local schools, civic and religious organizations and allows foreign scholars and students a chance to speak about their home countries. International students become better acquainted with American family life through the Host Family Program. Students get to know their host faroi-: lies through occasional visits to their homes. ThelnternaUonalWomen'sEnglish i Group gives spouses of international students and scholars a chance to meet other women from around the world, and the English Conversation Program pairs UNC students with recently arrived international students, scholars andspousesandgives them a chance to practice their English. Qing Li, aPh.D. student from China, praised thecenter'semployees for taking the time to listen to the international students. "When you first go to a place, you s have to get accustomed to the atmosphere, and the International Center is a way to help you do that." from page 1 just sitting on the ground," he said. His wife Sheila Snipes said she thought they would be pinned under the trailer when it flipped. "We could just pray, 'Don't get trapped,'" she said. Ronnie Snipes said he received bruises on his shoulders and forehead and went to the hospital shortly after the tornado hit. "There weren't many people working at that hour," he said. "But they were working as fast as they could." r tmn ill! !i i! i!n

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