ISS students sharing food during  International Week.

ISS students sharing food during International Week.

Deciding to leave one’s country to study on a whole other continent is not a decision that is arrived at easily, especially given the many challenges a student faces during the transition process. Thomas More College international students are no exception but their transition is less difficult thanks to the role the International Student Society (ISS) plays in helping them to learn more about the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other states in the south and mid-west, as well as participate in other on and off-campus events.

Club advisor for ISS during the 2014-2015 academic year, was Ms. Lynnette Guzzino, Esq., associate professor in business administration. “I am delighted to be the advisor for the International Student Society at Thomas More College. It is rewarding to develop activities and opportunities for international students and all those interested in international education, which fosters an understanding of diverse cultures and supports our mission to prepare students for the global marketplace,” Ms. Guzzino said. During the fall semester, ISS sponsored an international cuisine day during International Week, which is held annually. International students had the chance to share food from their respective countries with the TMC community. The current international students feel that they have learned so much and are constantly looking for opportunities to share their culture with the TMC community through food, music, dance, and, most importantly, in class discussions.


Representatives from ISS pose with new friends at Eastern Kentucky University.

Ms. Guzzino, together with club officials and in collaboration with nearby schools, arranged for international students to attend an International Students Career Fair at the University of Cincinnati in March 2015. This opportunity helped many of TMC’s international students face internship interviews with confidence.

To conclude the year, ISS organized a trip to Berea in Kentucky in April 2015, to learn about the rich Appalachian heritage and history that exists in the area. TMC students visited Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University and had a chance to tour/ learn about the schools and spent time with some of their international students. Given the huge international population at both schools, this trip could be described as different from those that included sightseeing and tourist attractions. The trip to Berea included that great feeling that comes with immersing oneself in a group of people from all walks of life. The students networked and learned about the various opportunities available to international students.

Current Thomas More College international students who participate in the ISS include Maureen Ogolla (senior, nursing – Kenya), Zina Vinanzaca (senior, accounting – Ecuador), Sharon Angoya (junior, accounting – Kenya), Jessica Dudi (sophomore, accounting – Kenya), Ben Mignot (France), and Samuel Ryan Lewis (sophomore from Europe). Several local students are also part of the club including Emily Buchanan, and Paul and Ben Kleir. See any of these students for information about how to join the club.

Everyone is welcome to become a member and also to engage in the club’s activities. Currently the club is working on bringing more faculty and students on board, especially those that have participated in study abroad programs. We all understand that there is richness in diversity and the goal of ISS is to make TMC a community that is fully aware of what ISS happening in the world in order to achieve the mission of transforming the world. A global perspective always makes knowledge complete!