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Culture centers help students find a home


By Vanessa Valentin

The International Center is a great place to start, and it can point you in the direction of many of the other of IU’s culture centers.

“I find that an international student, often more homesick, will enjoy more cultural-specific events,” said Lillian Casillas, director of the La Casa Latino Cultural Center.

That is what she tries to provide for students who come to the center. Known as La Casa (or “the house” in Spanish), to many students it becomes just that —
a home.

From the annual Festival Latino to the home-cooked dinners, Casillas and her staff work year-round to put on programs in hopes of educating on culture and providing resources to students.

“As soon as the students come to campus, I like to have an open house,”
Casillas said, “so that they know we are here.”

Comfort is what the Center for Human Growth tries to provide with its international student support group.

The support group offers a five-session series that focuses on different topics such as homesickness, adjustment issues and stress management. The program is just one of the resources the center offers as part of its counseling services.

Yvonne Mok, a master’s student doing her practicum at the center, encourages everyone to take advantage of the services.

“The programs are good for getting to know more about American culture,” she said. “We can share our experiences and support one another.”


Asian Culture Center
807 E. 10th St.

La Casa Latino Culture Center
715 E. Seventh St.

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
275 N. Jordan Ave.

First Nations Educational and Cultural Center
Weatherly Hall 203
400 N. Sunrise Dr.

Helene G. Simon Hillel Center
730 E. Third St.

Leo R. Dowling International Center
111 S. Jordan Ave.


Language Conversation Clubs
The International Center offers many opportunities to practice almost any language you want to learn. They’re free, and the schedule is available at

Monroe County Public Library
The library offers several language practice opportunities, including English as a Second Language programs. Upcoming events can be found at

Conversation Partners
In this International Center offering, students who want to practice each other’s languages are paired to exchange skills and understanding. Email or call 812-855-7133 for more information.

Writing Tutorial Services
They won’t write your paper for you, but WTS tutors will help you improve your writing in areas you’re worried about. WTS is located on the first floor of the main library and in Briscoe, Forest and Teter.
It is best to make an appointment in advance at 812-855-6738.

Students line up for food at the Asian Cultural Center booth during CultureFest on Aug. 27, 2009 outside the IU Auditorium. Brandon Foltz Buy Photos
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